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£arbarfa College library 









K.C.B., K.C.M.G. 








"THE POLISH captivity" 

ETC. | ETC. 






0+f- 552. V 

MAY I) 1902 
























ROUMANIA IN 1878 1 62 















INDEX 275 







GOETHE, in two perfect little poems, presented 
together under the title of Orpheisch, sets forth 
in the first that, let a man struggle as he may, his fate 
is irrevocably fixed in the stars ; and in the second, 
that a lamp may be perfectly trimmed and full of oil, 
but that unless it somehow gets touched with fire, it 
can never burn. Sir William White's destiny had been 
marked out beforehand by his strong personal character. 
He has himself, however, been heard to say, that unless 
he had been appointed to Bucharest, at the critical 
moment when Roumania was about to be raised from 
vassalage to independence, he could never have passed 
from the Consular into the Diplomatic Service, and 
thus would never have been eligible for the post of 

As it was, the Belgrade Consul-General of 1876, 
the Dantzic Consul of 1861, the Warsaw Vice-Consul 
(or Consular Clerk) of 1857, became actually in 1885, 
officially in 1886, the Ambassador of England at Con- 
stantinople, where for six years, until his death in 
1891, he made his power and his influence more 



seriously felt than any previous Ambassador had done 
since the days of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe. 

Sir William White wis born on February 13, 1824, 
at Pulawy, in Poland. He lived in that country, at 
one time and another, for more than thirty years, and 
spoke the Polish language perfectly ; from which, and 
from the fact that his mother and his maternal grand- 
mother held land in Poland, it was inferred that he 
must, at least on the mother's side, be of Polish origin. 
He had, however, not one drop of Polish blood in 
his veins. 

Sir William White's father was in the Consular and 
afterwards in the Colonial Service, and he was at the 
time of his death Governor of Trinidad. 

"When I knew him, between 1845 and 1851," writes 
Mr. Cadman Jones, one of Sir William White's oldest 
and most intimate friends, " he was stationed at Trinidad. 
What I chiefly remember about him is, that his son was 
his exact image." 

His family, settled for several generations in the Isle 
of Man, was of Dutch extraction, and its original 
name was " de Witt." 

Sir William's mother was the daughter of General 
William Neville Gardiner, last English Envoy to the 
Court of Poland in the days of King Stanislas Augustus, 
under whom was accomplished, in the words of the usually 
calm Guizot, 1 " the murder of an entire nation." 

General William Neville Gardiner — usually called 
" Neville-Gardiner," which the Poles shortened into 
" Neville " alone — was, according to the Foreign Office 
Records, Minister at Warsaw in 1784, twelve years after 
the first Partition, and again in 1794, one year after the 
second Partition and one year before the third Partition, 

1 Guizot 's Memoirs % year 1830. 


by which the formidable insurrection of Koscziusko was 
immediately followed. Then the capital of Poland 
passed beneath the domination of Prussia, and Warsaw 
became a Prussian provincial town. A leading member 
of General Neville Gardiner's mission was Colonel William 
Gardiner, apparently a relative ; and the chief had with 
him a certain number of so-called " correspondents," who 
in the present day would be described as secretaries, 
or attaches. With the complete destruction of Poland 
by the third Partition, the mission at Warsaw came 
to an end. There was no longer a Polish Government 
or a Polish Court to be accredited to. 

General Neville Gardiner now returned to his military 
duties. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the 
troops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and died 
at his post in 1806, the *year in which Napoleon re- 
constituted the Prussian provinces of Poland into the 
Grand-Duchy of Warsaw. 

General Neville Gardiner was brother of Viscount 
Mountjoy and uncle of the Viscount Mountjoy who in 
1816 was created Earl of Blessington. 

Mrs. Neville continued to live at her country place 
in Poland, and it was in Poland that her daughter 
became acquainted with Sir William White's father. 
Of two children by the marriage, one died in childhood ; 
the other was William Arthur White, the future am- 
bassador. After going to school for some years at 
King William's College in the Isle of Man, young White 
was sent to Cambridge and entered at Trinity College, 
where he remained two years. 

On leaving the University in the year 1843, he went 
to stay with his mother and grandmother in Poland, 
a Cambridge friend, Mr. Cadman Jones, accompanying 
him and remaining with the family some three months. 


"His mother and grandmother/' writes Mr. Jones, 
" lived at Gora Pulawska, on the left bank of the Vistula, 
where the high road from Radom to Lublin crosses the 
river, and directly opposite Pulawy, formerly the palace 
of the Czartoryskis, which is on the right bank. There 
is a legend that Charles XII. of Sweden bombarded it 
from the spot on which the house of Gora now stands. 
This is on a slightly rising ground, where the last ripple 
of the Carpathians sinks into the sandy plain of the 
north-east of Europe. He went out uncertain whether 
he should return to England or not 1 ' 

Nearly six years after his arrival in Poland from 
Cambridge — in the spring of 1849 — Mr. White suffered a 
severe loss in the death of his grandmother and mother. 

"The mourning seal, edge, and envelope will at once 
make you guess," he writes to Mr. Cadman Jones, " that 
this is a message of some great misfortune for me — which, 
I am convinced, will be duly felt by you. You have not 
heard from me this long time ; and my answer to your 
last kind letter is the sad tidings that I am left an 
orphan, completely alone so far as kindred goes in this 

M Yes, my dear friend, both my grandmother and dear 
excellent mother have left me for another, and, I hope 
and trust in Christ, for a better world. You who have 
seen that circle as one of the family, who have known 
the amiability and sensibility of the mother, the loving 
devotedness of the daughter, you can best appreciate 
my painful position and my affliction. 

" I cannot easily account for my long silence towards 
you. Laziness had something to do with it ; but I have 
for some time had considerable anxiety of mind owing 
to repeated disappointments in more or less serious 

" On the 9th October, myself and my dear mother, wc 
undertook a trip to Paris for the purpose of meeting my 
father; and we returned to Zielonka on the 3rd November, 
our movements being so rapid that I did not find time 
to drop you a line. 

"My excellent mother had been labouring under a 
painful illness for some years. She enjoyed very much 

1849] MRS. NEVILLE 5 

our excursion ; but, alas ! her mind had been preyed upon 
by very great anxiety. 

"At the time I engaged in affairs (of a pecuniary nature) 
in this country with the view to increasing my income 
we entertained too sanguine hopes of receiving remittances 
in which we were completely disappointed. This led to 
difficulties. Bad seasons and casual losses rendered many 
plans abortive ; and my want of experience has added 
not a little to this unpleasant position. 

"All this preyed upon my mother's mind. Her heart 
so sensitive, her feelings for me always so full of anxiety, 
suffered very much — too much, alas! She enjoyed 
exceedingly her visit to Paris; but upon our return we 
found my grandmother getting daily weaker and more 
infirm. My father joined us most fortunately in January 
last and has been constantly present. He leaves only 
to-day to resume his public duties. My grandmother 
declining gradually expired in the night of the nth to 
the 1 2th of March, 1849. 

" My dear mother had sufficient strength left to attend 
the funeral, and was pretty well for five weeks afterwards 
when she got a cough, and, her lungs being very much 
affected, she prepared for that terrible separation which 
was to leave me an orphan and alone in this country, 
and which took place on the nth May, exactly two 
months after her mother. 

"Many, many witnesses — hundreds, rich and poor — 
witnesses, I say, of her virtuous life — attended her to the 
grave. In fact, she is universally and sincerely regretted. 

"Under these afflicting circumstances I received your 
letter, and it is impossible for me to tell you anything 
further about myself. You will guess my melancholy 
feelings and meditations. 

" Many of those you knew are dead, and many changes 
have to be noticed in my next, when I shall try to send 
you a flower from the grave of your two sincere friends 
of Gora, whom I am sure you will lament sincerely. 

" Pray try to assist my father in removing my books 
and things from Miss Garner's, 6, Green Street, Cambridge, 
to London, and thence here, viA Dantzic. 

" I still live in hopes of seeing you some day ; but, 
believe me, my life is very sad indeed. 

" Yours ever affectionately, 

"W. A. White." 


M I heard from him," writes Mr. Cadman Jones, "at 
irregular intervals all through the remainder of his 
life. When I left Poland, his employment was looking 
after the estate ; to which, while I was there, he gave 
a good deal of personal supervision. I have a vague 
impression that owing to the distress occasioned by the 
Crimean War, things turned out ill, and that the properties 
were sold." 

English residents in Russia who wished to do so 
remained there throughout the war, and, as a rule, were 
treated with great consideration. It was thought strange, 
however, and suspicious that an Englishman should stay 
during hostilities with his own country in a part of the 
Empire so notoriously disaffected as Poland ; and, as a 
precautionary measure, a gendarme was attached to 
Mr. White, who was kept under supervision except on 
comparatively rare occasions when he furnished his too 
assiduous guardian with enough money to enable him to 
get drunk. I am indebted for this interesting information 
to Field-Marshal Sir John Lintorn Simmons, who succeeded 
General Mansfield in 1857 at the Warsaw Consulate. 

From his twentieth, then, up to his thirty-fourth year, 
Mr. White was occupied not with Diplomatic or Consular 
work, but solely with agriculture. But for some repre- 
sentations which he had to make to the Russian authorities 
in the character of British subject he might never have 
had occasion to visit the British Consulate at Warsaw, and 
never, therefore, in all probability, would have been invited 
by its chief to take service in it To secure the assistance 
of an English gentleman who possessed a perfect know- 
ledge of Polish affairs and of the Polish language was 
an evident advantage for General Mansfield, the newly 
appointed Consul-General, who, arriving at Warsaw soon 
after the peace which followed the Crimean War, saw 
Poland for the first time. 


Mr. White's entry into the Warsaw Consulate cannot, 
however, be looked upon as a step taken without aim or 
without previous leanings towards the kind of employment 
he was now obtaining. To begin a consular and quasi- 
diplomatic career at the age of thirty-three was not for 
an ambitious man a promising start. It had been Mr. 
White's desire, at an early age, and the desire of his father 
(who himself began life in the Consular Service), his 
mother, and his grandmother (Mrs. Neville) that he should 
adopt diplomacy as his profession ; though at the time 
of his leaving Cambridge the pecuniary position of his 
family rendered it impossible for them to make him the 
necessary allowance. After referring to this unrealisable 
project, Mr. White, in one of his letters from Bucharest 
(April, 1885), writes as follows: 

" But my time was not lost during my long residence 
in Poland, as I acquired a knowledge of Russian ways 
and doings which has proved invaluable to me, and would 
prove still more so were I serving under a chief more 
distrustful of the ' Moskal ' ! than our * G.O.M.' " 

The Consulate at Warsaw was not much of a com- 
mercial post, but mainly a political one. The English, 
French, Prussian, and Austrian Consulates-General at 
Warsaw were first established, at the suggestion of the 
Emperor Nicholas, after 1830, in testimony of his 
intention to maintain Poland as a separate kingdom with 
its own institutions ; and England has always been repre- 
sented at Warsaw by some military man — usually, a 
Colonel of Artillery or Engineers. The Consul-General 
at Warsaw transacted business in Mr. White's day 

1 Polish for " Muscovite." Long after " Muscovy " had become 
"Russia " for the rest of Europe it was still " Muscovy N for the Poles. 
The French in like manner continued to call Prussia " Brandenburgh " 
long after it had ceased to be " Brandenburgh " for all other nations. 


with the Director of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom 
of Poland ; and he addressed his reports sometimes to 
the Foreign Secretary in London, sometimes to the 
Ambassador at St Petersburg. 

During the Crimean War, General Mansfield had held 
the post of military adviser to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, 
and he came to Warsaw direct from the famous capital 
to which Sir William White, nearly thirty years later, 
was to make his way. After helping General Mansfield 
for a short time in the Consulate, and inspiring him with 
feelings of confidence and friendship, Mr. White soon 
agreed to accept a permanent engagement on the under- 
standing that promotion was to be open to him in the 
Consular Service. 

He had some business to attend to in England, 
and in March, 1857, received in London, from General 
Mansfield at Warsaw, the following letter: 

" Maixh 9, 1857. 

"My dear White, 

" I am happy to be able to tell you that I have 
received Lord Clarendon's approval of the arrangement 
I proposed in your favour, and that I am authorised 
to draw £25 per quarter on your account, the arrange- 
ment to take effect from the 1st of next month. This 
gives you, therefore, till the end of March to arrange 
your affairs, which, I hope, will be sufficient for you. You 
will have watched the late Parliamentary contest with the 
same interest as I have ; indeed, the attention of Europe 
has been altogether absorbed by it. 

"If you require more time to enable you to carry out 
your move and change of home, do not fail to apprise me, 
as you must not be a pecuniary loser in consequence of 
entering your new career. 

"Yours very truly, 

" H. B. Mansfield." 

Mr. White's duties at the Warsaw Consulate soon 
became important, for General Mansfield was called away 


from his post before he had occupied it many months in 
order to go to India, where the Mutiny had broken out, 
and where he had been appointed chief of Sir Colin 
Campbell's staff. Mr. White now for a time became 
acting Consul-General, but without any permanent change 
in his rank. 

A great diplomatist, Sir William resembled in no way 
the conventional diplomatist of fiction, and too often of 
real life; who, suave in manner, impenetrable in look, 
abstains on principle from any show of zeal, believes, 
really, that language was given to him to conceal his 
thoughts, and, hearing of another diplomatist's death, 
indulges in subtle speculations as to what object he 
could have had in dying. Sir William White was a 
diplomatist of the robust school. Tall, handsome, and 
of commanding presence, his demeanour was compara- 
tively rough. Without being careless, he was not over 
careful in his dress. In conversation he was frank, genial, 
always in high spirits, with a powerful voice, which often 
broke into loud laughter. Among well-known types the 
one his personal appearance most strongly suggested was 
that of an English country gentleman who happened to 
wear a beard. 

But his manner of speech pointed in a different 
direction. Accustomed to many tongues, and as dexter- 
ous in carrying on a conversation with different people 
in different languages as a juggler in keeping up balls 
in the air, he spoke English with a scarcely perceptible 
foreign accent, which was neither French, German, nor 
Polish, but perhaps a faint reminiscence of all three, with 
something indefinable and beyond analysis superadded. 

That everything about him was natural — so natural 
as sometimes to be deceptive — is shown by the fact, 
that, occupying a subordinate position at the Warsaw 



Consulate, he presented the same characteristics which 
struck every one when, thirty years afterwards, he directed 
the Embassy at Constantinople. 

Sir William White began life in the days of "dis- 
abilities," when Jews were not allowed to sit in Parliament, 
nor Roman Catholics and Dissenters to graduate at the 
ancient Universities. Had he completed his course at 
Cambridge, he would have been unable by reason of 
his religion to take a degree ; for he had been brought 
up in the faith of his grandmother and mother. The 
honorary LL.D. was ultimately conferred upon him, but 
not until after he had been named Ambassador ad interim 
at Constantinople; and he was the first Roman Catholic 
Ambassador appointed since the Reformation. 

"Herr Doctor I Ich gratulire," wrote Lord Arthur 
Russell to him on the occasion of his receiving the 
Cambridge degree. " The honours conferred by an ancient 
and free corporation on a fellow citizen are more 
valuable than the stars given by Ministers. It is one 
of the illusions I still have left, that it really is a fine 
thing to be made a D.C.L. by our venerable Universities. 
I am sorry that I did not, like Lord Acton, have the 
pleasure of seeing you in your cardinal's robes." 

The nomination to Constantinople by which the con- 
ferring of tHe honorary degree had been preceded, was 
only provisional until the arrival of Sir Edward Thornton, 
the titular Ambassador; and Sir William White was 
assured at this time, by powerful and influential friends, 
by Ambassadors and Ministers of State, that he had 
not the slightest chance of obtaining the appointment 

He was much pressed, moreover, in that very year 
of 1885, officially by Lord Salisbury, and privately by 
one of his most intimate and most trusted friends, Sir 


Robert Morier, to accept the Legation at Pekin ; and 
but for his strong character ("character/' as a German 
philosopher has defined it, is "the resistance offered to 
pressure from without ") he must at that critical moment 
have lost all chance of going permanently to Constanti- 
nople. With noteworthy foresight, both Lord Salisbury 
and Sir Robert Morier perceived sixteen years ago the 
supreme importance that China was gradually assuming 
in the affairs of the world. 

* I have been considering very carefully with Sir Philip 
Currie, w wrote Lord Salisbury, September 30, 1885, "the 
possibility you expressed to me some weeks ago. I am 
very anxious to recognise your undoubted claims, and 
to make use of your great experience and ability in a 
suitable employment But I am forced to remember what 
Gortchakoff said, when they asked him why he did not 
promote his son: 'Can I poison the Ambassadors?' 
The vacancies are very few — only two. Brazil I know 
you have already declined, and I cannot manage by any 
shuffling of the cards to vacate any post which you would 
be disposed to take. Brazil is naturally not popular. 
The alternative before you, I am afraid, therefore, is either 
Pekin, or to wait till something more favourable presents 
itself. Of course, it is a matter of uncertainty whether 
I shall have any influence over the use to be made of 
that opportunity when it occurs. You told me that 
you would not take Pekin, and I hardly like to dwell 
on it But I cannot help reminding you of the extreme 
importance which that mission is assuring. The Power 
that can establish the best footing in China will have 
the best part of the trade of the world ; I cannot help 
saying, that the matter should not be put aside without 

Twelve days earlier, Sir Robert Morier had addressed 
to Sir William, from Frankfort, a most friendly letter, 
of which the verve would be lost and the " free fantasia " 
style destroyed if one word were altered or suppressed. 


"My dear White," wrote this eminent diplomatist who 
had recently been appointed to the Embassy at St Peters- 
burg, " I am just an infernal correspondent, and it's no use 
trying to disguise it. I have two letters of yours on 
my soul, and damned bad company they are for it, (or 
whenever I have thought of them I have had a fresh out- 
burst of irritation against myself. The first undoubtedly 
required an answer — even if only to say that I could say 
nothing. But my reason for writing to-day is a very 
different one. It i9 to urge you in the strongest way I 
can to accept the post of China, if offered, as I feel sure 
it would be, if it was thought you would accept it Now 
listen attentively to what I say. My sole and only motive 
in going out of my way to express this opinion is my 
earnest desire for your personal welfare. For myself 
personally, the loss of you at Bucharest, and of my chance 
of a visit from you at St. Petersburg, with the prospect 
of being coached up in all matters connected with the 
Slav Kostnos would be a colossal calamity; but I am 
bound as an old and most sincere friend to tell you what 
I deem best for you. 

" I know better than any one that the post you ought 
to fill is Constantinople. I know that you had not ill- 
grounded hope that you might get it, and if I saw any 
chance of your doing so, I would say, ' Bide your time at 
Bucharest' But I have good grounds for believing that, 
notwithstanding the extraordinary fact that with your 
powers and your fearless individuality, you have com- 
pletely succeeded in gaining the confidence of the F.O. 
and of both the Montagues and the Capulets who 
alternatively reign there, you have no prospect of getting 
the post, within measurable time, at least I have inde- 
pendent grounds for believing this. Both as regards 
yourself and the good of the country, I do not think that 
time should be lost in giving you your chance einzugreifen 
in die Weltgeschichte. Now there is no European post 
in which I can foresee any possibility for you to get this 
chance for the present On the other hand, in my humble 
opinion, the political complications of the planet being 
such as they are, China, St Petersburg, and Constantinople 
are, as regards us t three points of the greatest importance. 
As I told Giers, we must avoid war, because if war there 
is, it will be & planetary war % with the sun and moon and 
Saturn and Mars and Venus all looking on. All the 


forces of Asia and Europe will have to be stirred. Now 
I believe China is just getting within touch of planetary 
influence. We ought to secure China. Now there are 
only two kinds of Ministers possible there — a Chinese 
expert, like Wade, or a colossal European statesman. The 
expert, now Hart has resigned, does not, I believe, exist, 
and if he did, would, me judice, have to be entirely dis- 
carded. What we want is the man who can seize the 
great political bearings of the question, and who has the 
vigour to carry out the idea, the savoir-faire to get behind 
Chinese officialism. You are the man ; no man in the 
service or out of it has the same grasp of this same 
savoir-faire. It would be madness to accept Rio or any 
other similar post ; but China, I believe, would give you 
your chance, and if it did, you would use it, and then 
Constantinople or the Nile would be your due. 

" I speak with the full conviction that I am giving you 
the right counsel. If you do not take it and remain at 
Bucharest, I shall be the gainer. The few of your friends 
I have seen since Hart's resignation all echo my sentiments. 

" I have had three such delightful days with the King 
and Queen of Roumania at Konigstein. It was a pleasure 
to me to hear them talk the way they did about you. 
I felt rather a traitor, for they supplicated me to use all 
my influence that you should not be promoted, away from 
Bucharest. I have solemnly promised to pay them a visit 
next year. 

"God bless you! Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest 
my advice, knowing I shall be personally happy if you 
don't take it. But if you do, telegraph, ' Think you are 
right,' and I will then work in that sense. 

" Yours ever, 

"R. B. MORIER." 

Sir William did not telegraph "Think you are right" 
He was convinced, indeed, that his friend was wrong ; and, 
as a matter of fact, he was, twelve months later, appointed 
Ambassador at Constantinople. 

Sir William during the most important part of his 
career, extending over the last fifteen years of his life, 
seems to have enjoyed in an equal degree the good will 


of both parties. Lord Derby gave him the C.B., Lord 
Granville the K.C.M.G., and Lord Salisbury the G.C.M.G. 
It was Lord Derby who sent him to the Conference of 
Constantinople as adlatus to Lord Salisbury; while to 
Lord Salisbury he was indebted for his nomination to 
Bucharest, and for his promotion at Bucharest from the 
rank of Diplomatic Agent and Consul-General to that of 
Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. Mr. 
Gladstone's Government sent him to Constantinople as 
Ambassador ad interim in 1885 ; and the Government 
of Lord Salisbury appointed him permanent Ambassador 
in 1886. 

Amongst Sir William White's letters are to be found 
copies of two congratulatory ones addressed to him by 
an eminent leader of Whigs, Earl Russell, and by an 
eminent leader of Radicals, Mr. Gladstone. Lord Edmond 
Fitzmaurice, in a very interesting article on his life 
and work (contributed to the Speaker), regards him as 
a Home Ruler. But in one of his despatches from 
Bucharest in reference to the admission of Jews to 
the Roumanian Parliament Sir William sets forth, that, 
according to the Roumanian view, the Jews would form 
a separate party to impede legislation, "like the Home 
Rule faction in the House of Commons." 

He was never, in fact, a man whom either Liberals 
or Conservatives could claim as their own ; and he must 
often have regretted, like most of his diplomatic associates, 
that it was sometimes found necessary to shape the 
foreign policy of England so as to suit, not the interests 
of the country, but those of a Parliamentary party, or 
of popular opinion outside Parliament. 

In regard to many important questions that came 
beneath the notice and study of Sir William, there was 
an absolute consensus of opinion among well-informed 


diplomatists, whereas in Parliament two diametrically 
opposite views were held by Conservatives and by 
Liberals. Lord Napier at St. Petersburg, Lord Augustus 
Loftus at Berlin, Colonel Stanton and Mr. White at 
Warsaw, all understood the Polish insurrection of 1863. 
But Lord Russell did not seem to understand it in the 
least ; and, having a fixed part to play in Parliament, 
could scarcely have wished to understand it As a 
rule, the Liberals supported it, while the Conservatives 
deplored it 

During the period of the Bulgarian Massacres, Liberals 
might have been met with in England who denied that 
they had been provoked, and Conservatives who declared 
that they never took place. 

A true diplomatist, Sir William belonged to neither 
of the two great political parties. He carried out his 
instructions faithfully, vigorously, and with success, and 
he sent home the fullest and fairest reports. He felt 
much his permanent separation from England, and con- 
stantly refers to it in his letters. What does the author 
of Coningsby say on this subject? "A diplomatist is, 
after all, an abstraction. There is a want of nationality 
about his being. I always look upon diplomatists as 
the Hebrews of politics, without country, political creed, 
popular convictions, that strong reality of existence which 
pervades the career of an eminent citizen in a free and 
great country." 

To speak of his habits, so far as they were connected 
with his work, Sir William was an early riser, and had 
read all the papers and heard all the local news of the 
previous night before other diplomatists were out of bed. 
He also attended late receptions and balls ; and, that he 
might reach them wakeful and alert, would go to bed 
at eight and get up at midnight. He was wonderfully 


punctual and never failed to keep an appointment. 
One afternoon at Warsaw, when the Town Hall was 
blazing and troops of all arms were drawn up in front 
of the conflagration, which was looked upon as a final 
revolutionary flare-up in view of massacres and a 
European intervention, he was asked whether he intended 
to keep a dinner engagement for which the hour was 
approaching and which, under the circumstances, might 
well have been put off. 

" Whatever happens," he said, " the dinner will be ready 
at seven o'clock, and it is best to be punctual" 

But the line — the circular hedge — of troops was too 
thick, and but for the politeness of a Cossack colonel, 
who recognised Mr. White, and told an orderly to pass 
him through, he never could have got to his entertainment 

In Poland, when the popular manifestations which 
culminated in the insurrection had once begun, Mr. White 
found abundant employment for his inexhaustible activity. 
Afterwards at Dantzic, where as Consul he had nothing 
in the way of politics to occupy him, he was not only 
allowed, but encouraged to give his attention to affairs 
outside his own particular domain ; and, during his ten 
years' residence in the city at the mouth of the Vistula, 
the Foreign Office received from him reports not only 
on German commerce, but also, and, above all, on such 
subjects as religious movements in Austria and Slavonic 
aspirations in Hungary. Panslavism in general, moreover, 
was treated in one of these special reports, which never 
found their way into blue books, and in all probability 
were never seen except by the Foreign Secretary, the 
political and permanent under-secretaries, and, in some 
cases, the Prime Minister. 

Throughout his career, until he had reached a point 
beyond which it was impossible to rise, Sir William White 


was constantly being called upon to perform duties 
superior to those of the post he officially held. It has 
been seen that at Warsaw he had been Consular Clerk 
for only four months when, on the sudden departure of 
his chief, General Mansfield, for India, he became for 
a time acting Consul- General. Seven years later, after 
being named Consul at Dantzic, he was asked not to 
take up his new appointment until he could be spared 
from Warsaw, where he was once more performing the 
duties of Consul-General. From Dantzic, moreover, 
he was sent on a political mission to Hungary, which 
with other lands in Eastern Europe formed the subject 
of a private report to the Foreign Office. 

He had not long held the post of Consul-General and 
Diplomatic Agent at Belgrade when he was appointed 
adlatus to Lord Salisbury at the Constantinople Con- 
ference, where for the first time the interests and needs 
of the Christian subjects of the Porte were seriously 

The Conference of Constantinople marked an important 
point in Sir William White's career, and soon after its 
conclusion he was transferred from Belgrade to Bucharest, 
where, while fulfilling what might well have been dis- 
agreeable duties, he inspired both King and Queen with 
the most friendly feelings ; indeed, with genuine regard. 
The independence of Roumania had already been recog- 
nised both by victorious Russia and by vanquished 
Turkey. Russia, it is true, stipulated for the execution 
of one unacceptable condition, to which, sooner or later, 
Roumania was sure from necessity to agree. But the 
other Powers demanded, in addition to the cession of 
territory which Russia insisted upon, that the Jewish 
inhabitants of Roumanian birth, but unacquainted for 
the most part with the Roumanian language, together 



with foreign Jews, and even Jewish wanderers on 
Roumanian soil, should have granted to them equal 
political rights with the ancient population of pure 
Roumanian blood. 

They required, moreover, before Roumanian Inde- 
pendence could be recognised, that the Roumanians 
should give way to Germany, or, rather, to Prince 
Bismarck, in regard to what, in a very high quarter, was 
correctly described as a " railway job." 

Sir Henry Elliot, writing from Vienna to Mr. White 
at Bucharest,. expressed his regret that the recognition 
of Roumanian Independence should be made dependent 
on so petty a matter, about which not one word was 
said in the treaty of Berlin. Nor could Lord Salisbury 
approve in the abstract of such a condition being 
insisted upon. But he explained to Mr. White that 
Prince Bismarck had given England such valuable 
support at the Berlin Conference on points of the first 
importance, that it was impossible not to do something 
for him in return. He was sorry to place Mr. White 
in an awkward position. But diplomacy was like chess : 
a piece had now and then to be sacrificed ; and the 
piece on this occasion was the new Envoy. 

The Jewish question was full of difficulties, and the 
Roumanians were for the most part full of prejudices 
in regard to them, though Sir William White pointed 
out in more than one despatch that the political dis- 
abilities weighing upon some three hundred thousand 
Jews, of whom about three-quarters had nothing— not 
even language — in common with the Roumanians, were 
in practice equally felt (if felt they were) by all foreigners 
in Roumania. 

There was much persecution, however, going on 
at the time. Turks persecuted Christians, Christians 


persecuted Jews, while eminent Jews in foreign parts 
persecuted Ministers of State, and through them the 
Christian princes of the East If, for example, the Prince 
of Roumania travelled westward on a visit of pleasure, 
the well-organised Alliance Israelite watched his progress 
and requested the Foreign Minister of whatever country 
he happened to be staying in to call his attention to the 
fact that the Jews living beneath his rule did not possess 
equal political rights with the rest of his subjects. Lord 
Derby was once invited to worry Prince Charles of 
Roumania— in England at the time— -on a point of this 
kind. But his Lordship made some excuse for not 
troubling the Queen's guest about a matter which, apart 
from other considerations, was quite beyond the Prince's 
own personal control. 

Besides holding out against the Roumanians on the 
subject of the three hundred thousand Jews of all kinds 
to whom they refused unconditional enfranchisement ; of 
the territory demanded by Russia, which they were deter- 
mined not to cede, and of the Bismarck ,€ railway job" 
to which they persisted in objecting, Mr. White had 
to get from the Roumanian Government a favourable 
commercial treaty, and he had to do all this without 
occupying any recognised diplomatic position. 

The undefined character of Mr. White's status must, 
in spite of his personal popularity, have been a source of 
considerable annoyance to the Roumanian Government ; 
for when, in 1879, Bratiano made his circular visit to 
the principal European capitals, in order to protest 
against the forced cession of Bessarabia to Russia, one 
of the first requests made by the Roumanian Minister to 
the English Government was that they should appoint 
to Bucharest an Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary. Mr. White (whom Bratiano had doubtless 


in view at the time) had already his credentials as 
Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary locked up in his 
desk. But some months had still to pass before he could 
show them ; and when he presented them to King 
Charles, he, at the same time on the part of England, 
recognised his Majesty as Sovereign of Roumania. 

After the recognition of Roumanian Independence, 
and the signing of the commercial treaty (the two 
things went together), one of the first important duties 
required of the English Minister at Bucharest was a 
very important one indeed He had to take charge 
temporarily of the Constantinople Embassy ; and, Eastern 
Roumelia having now been brought into union with 
Bulgaria, he was instructed to support the national 
aspirations and claims of the new State. 

From the time of Mr. White's first appearance at 
Constantinople as Ambassador ad interim^ his chief 
activity was shown in backing up Bulgaria against the 
pressure brought to bear upon her for a time by Russia, 
when the Bulgarians (like all Christian subjects of the 
Porte in every similar case) showed themselves perfectly 
well disposed towards the Power most ready to assist 
them. Sir William White's attitude in connection with 
Bulgaria was much approved by his brilliant and sagacious 
friend, Sir Robert Morier, except that Sir Robert wished 
to see England befriending Bulgaria, not in opposition 
to Russia, but in harmony and co-operation with her. 
Surely, however, this depended a good deal on Russia's 
own bearing towards the newly created State? 

On one point the two friends were quite agreed — that 
England ought to make herself (to use Model's own 
words) "the point cCappui" of the Christians in the 
Balkan Peninsula. 

Once in occupation of the Embassy Palace in the 


Turkish capital, it suited Sir William White so well that 
he felt it to be his destiny — it was at all events his 
determination — to make it his permanent home. Before 
he was appointed definitely to the first of diplomatic 
posts (a post where, for various reasons, the Ambassador 
has much more liberty of action than at others of equal 
rank), Buenos Ayres had been offered to him, and Rio 
de Janeiro pressed upon him ; and we have seen that 
he was almost entreated to go to Pekin. But he had set 
his heart upon Constantinople, and there he ultimately 
settled down. 

From the days of the Conference, in 1876, to his own 
provisional appointment, in 1885, the Constantinople 
Embassy had been in the hands of Sir Henry Elliot, 
Sir Henry Layard, Mr. Goschen, Sir Drummond Wolff, 
Lord Dufferin, and Sir Edward Thornton — who, however, 
was only a titular occupant ; six Ambassadors in nine 
years ! At the time of his lamented death in December, 
1 891 — a substantial loss to his country, a sorrowful one 
to his friends — Sir William White had already performed 
the duties of Ambassador for six years consecutively. 

Throughout this period, he showed himself not only 
a skilful diplomatist, but a powerful one ; caring little 
for petty personal triumphs, but generally managing in 
important matters to get his own way. In asserting 
himself, he seems at times to have been abrupt and 
even violent. " We shall do nothing so long as that 
bear remains at the English Embassy ! " exclaimed one 
of his diplomatic rivals, not to say enemies. He once, 
too, received from the Foreign Office a letter in which 
the following passage occurs : " I know what good 
work you are doing, by the bitter things that are said 
against you." 

A strong, bearlikc man would doubtless, in spite of 


disadvantages of style, obtain more success in diplomacy 
than a weak one with charming manners. But in Sir 
William White the kindliest nature and abundant strength 
were combined. He was of a most obliging disposition, 
and though constantly occupied with important affairs, 
was always ready to furnish an inquiring friend with 
whatever information he might need, on subjects of which 
Sir William possessed full and often exclusive knowledge. 

He had wide sympathies, too, and always during the 
eight years he passed at Warsaw, subscribed, Roman 
Catholic as he was, towards the maintenance of the 
English church; saying (so Sir Lintorn Simmons, Mr. 
White's chief at the time, informs me) that " the English 
ought to have their place of worship." 

Very successful in diplomacy, Sir William White was 
skilful also in the difficult art of life. What prospect 
had he of a career when he entered the Warsaw Con- 
sulate at the age of thirty-three as clerk? Ambitious, 
however, and full of assiduity, he concentrated all his 
energies on the best means of obtaining promotion along 
the path on which he had set his heart. Suddenly called 
upon to assume the duties of acting Consul-General, 
when his official position was only that of clerk, he was 
at once brought into direct relations with Lord Clarendon, 
Foreign Secretary at the time. But he knew no other 
political personage of the first importance until he was 
introduced, after he had passed four years at Warsaw, 
to Lord Lansdowne, who, at his request, gave him a letter 
to Lord John Russell, with whom, two years later, the 
Insurrection of 1863 placed him in constant communication. 

The rules and traditions of the Foreign Office are 
generally supposed to be of so rigid a character that any 
attempt to break through them would only bring the 
transgressor to confusion. Yet, such was the trust placed 


in the wideness and accuracy of Sir William White's 
information, that in whatever country he might be placed 
— Poland, Prussia, Servia, Roumania — his chiefs seem 
always to have assumed (and with reason) that he was 
perfectly acquainted with the affairs of all neighbouring 
and all kindred lands. Even when he had reached 
Bucharest, where he had at least four very important 
questions to occupy him in connection with the recognition 
of Roumanian Independence, he was told on the highest 
authority, that if he could only throw any light on " the 
mysterious politics of the Austrian Court," the Foreign 
Office would be very much obliged to him. 

On his retirement, Sir William White meant to devote 
himself to literary work, with a view not to the Foreign 
Office Archives, where so many of his reports lie buried, 
but to publication. 

One of his chosen subjects, which he certainly would 
have handled in masterly fashion, was the Partition of 
Poland ; and he had already begun to collect materials 
for his memoirs. These, including much valuable corre- 
spondence, have been kindly placed by Lady White at 
the disposal of the present writer. 



DURING the first three or four years that followed 
Mr. White's appointment " order" did indeed 
" reign at Warsaw " ; and not by any means in the 
peace-with-solitude sense in which the words were 
employed on the too famous occasion when Marshal 
Sebastiani uttered them in the French Chamber. 

Russia had been much shaken, much weakened by the 
war carried on against her by England, France, Turkey, 
Sardinia, and— one might almost add — Austria; and 
she was sincerely occupied with internal reforms of the 
most important kind. She had disengaged herself from 
all foreign questions — as Russia can so well afford to do 
whenever she thinks fit The defeat of Austria in 1859, 
by France and Sardinia, did not seem in any way to affect 
her ; though it certainly caused her no grief. Her army 
was being gradually allowed to decrease; a matter of 
no political importance, for there was no quarter from 
which she had the slightest reason to fear attack. Since 
the Crimean War she had given up recruitment in Poland, 
as in the Russian Empire generally ; and without thinking 
it worth while to notify foreign Powers on the subject, 
had practically disarmed. 

It had been determined to emancipate the serfs, to 
reform the administration, and to introduce into civil 
and criminal proceedings publicity, oral evidence, the 


jury system and the employment of counsel ; all of 
which was faithfully done. 

The censorship, too, over newspapers, without being 
abolished or seriously modified by law, was being exercised 
in the most moderate manner and, in some cases, scarcely 
exercised at all. 

In the kingdom of Poland, under the mild rule of 
Prince Gortchakoff (Prince Michael of Crimean fame), 
things went smoothly enough. The only reform intro- 
duced was the substitution of the French system of 
conscription by ballot for the arbitrary system of pro- 
scription by designation, previously in force. This, 
however, was an important change, and Prince GortchakofTs 
general attitude showed him to be animated by the new 
Emperor's benevolent intentions. The laisser oiler of 
the new reign was quite as noticeable in Poland as in 
Russia proper. The Russian garrison in Warsaw had 
become very small. The Polish language was spoken 
everywhere, including the public offices, where by law 
Russian should have been used. Though not politically 
free, the Poles led free lives. They were in no way 

By an act of amnesty, published just after the Coronation, 
numbers of Poles had been recalled from Siberia ; who, 
on their return, failed to show any good will towards 
the Government which had sent them out. It was really, 
however, the Emperor Nicholas who had exiled them ; 
Alexander II. had only brought them back. 

During the first half-dozen years of Alexander II.'s 
beneficent reign, no one, cither in Poland or in Russia, was 
punished or even brought to trial for any political offence. 

It was under these peaceful conditions that Mr. White 
began his duties at the Warsaw Consulate; where no 
record seems to have been preserved of any act or deed 



on his part, until on a certain Saturday a Russian 
diplomatist, M. Sabouroff, finding that Mr. White was 
going to England, asked him to take charge of a letter 
to Baron B run now. 

The letter having been duly delivered at the Russian 
Embassy in the Ambassador's absence, Baron Brunnow 
addressed to Mr. White, from Brighton, a gracious reply. 

M. SabourofTs letter was dated " Samedi " only. The 
inscription at the head of the Baron's epistle is a little 
more explicit, and it appears from the postmark on 
the envelope that it was sent out for delivery in the 
year 1862. Here is the document; one of the first com- 
munications received by Mr. White from a diplomatist 
of the highest rank : 

" Brighton, V$*dr*H M*tm, 

" 5, Marine Terrace. 

"Cher Monsieur White, 

" Vous 6tes bien aimable de me proposer de venir 
me voir & Brighton. 

" Si cela ne vous d£rangeait pas trop, nous serions 
charm£s, ma femme et moi, d'avoir le plaisir de vous voir 
chez nous k l'heure de notre luncheon (deux heures), 
tel jour qu'il vous serait agrlable de choisir. 

"Ayez la bontl, seulement, de me faire savoir le jour 
qui pourrait vous con venir le mieux. 

"Si Dimanche pouvait vous 6tre agr&ble nous vous 
attendrons avec un £gal plaisir ce jour-14 comme un 

" Recevez, cher Monsieur White, l'assurance renouvelde 
de mes sentiments les plus distingu£s. 

" Brunnow." 

Neither M. Sabouroff nor Baron Brunnow could have 
had any idea that the Vice-Consul at Warsaw (Mr. White 
had now been promoted to that dignity) would some 
day be made the subject of a big biography in which 
their letters to him would be introduced ; or they would , 
perhaps, have been more careful in dating them. 


The same may be said of Lord Lansdowne, Lord 
Malmesbury, and other eminent correspondents of this 
period, some of whom in writing to Mr. White give only 
the day of the month, others only the day of the week. 
In these cases the date may sometimes be ascertained 
through the postmark on the envelope, sometimes by 
the date of a letter of reply. 

On a certain " Friday " the Marquis of Lansdowne 
writes as follows: 

" Lord Lansdowne has the pleasure of enclosing to 
Mr. White a note of introduction for Lord J. Russell 
agreeably to his desire." 

Mr. White seems to have sent on the letter of intro- 
duction to Lord John Russell with a note from himself; 
and after a time came the following by way of reply : 

"Lady John Russell presents her compliments to Mr. 
White, and begs to say that Lord John Russell and she 
will have much pleasure in seeing him any Sunday after- 
noon. She begs to apologise for the delay in answering 
his note, which she had unfortunately lost. 

"Pembroke Lodge, Richmond, 
"July 13M, 1861." 

In 1863 Mr. White received a letter of introduction 
to Lord Malmesbury, forwarded it, and obtained the 
following reply : 

"Lord Malmesbury presents his compliments to Mr. 
White, and will have the pleasure of seeing him at 11.30 
on Friday or Saturday as may best suit his convenience. 

" 19, Stratford Place, 
" September 15M (1863)." 

In the contents of the preceding letters there is certainly 
nothing remarkable. But they at least show that when 
only Vice-Consul, or even Consular Clerk, Mr. White had a 


view to much higher things, and made a point of cultivat- 
ing influential acquaintances. He was already on friendly 
terms with the Russian Ambassador to the English Court, 
and with two English noblemen, one of whom had been 
Foreign Secretary, while the other actually held that 
post Of the two Foreign Secretaries, past and present, 
one was a Conservative, the other a Whig ; and Mr. 
White went down to Brighton to lunch with the Russian 
Ambassador just when the Poles were preparing to rise 
against the power of the Tsar. 

Never at any period of his career did Mr. White allow 
himself to be affected by the " surtout pas de zile" maxim ; 
excellent from a chief addressing a subordinate whom 
he does not wish to be too officious, but ridiculous if 
adopted as a principle of action by the subordinate himself 
or by an aspirant for success at any stage of his promotion. 

Mr. White had become known to the Earl of Clarendon, 
on being attached to the Warsaw Consulate in 1857, and 
he made Lord Clarendon's personal acquaintance in i860, 
when he received several letters from him, including one 
on the subject of Cracow, concerning which there had 
been some intention of asking questions in Parliament 

" No questions are now likely to be asked about Cracow 
in the House of Lords," wrote Lord Clarendon, March 25, 
i860. "Otherwise, I would apply to you." 

Cracow, it need scarcely be said, has been for more 
than fifty years under Austrian government. 

From the beginning of the Polish patriotic manifesta- 
tions of 1 861, Mr. White was brought into constant 
official communication with Lord John Russell at the 
Foreign Office, with Lord Napier at St Petersburg, 
and Lord Augustus Loft us at Berlin. 

Lord Napier took the greatest interest in the im- 


portant measures of reform introduced by the Emperor 
Alexander II., both in Russia and in the kingdom of 
Poland. He studied them, appreciated them, and wished 
them all possible success. He was at the same time 
grieved to hear of the violence with which certain patriotic 
manifestations at Warsaw, first tolerated, afterwards for- 
bidden, were ultimately suppressed. Projects of reform 
one day ; bullets and bayonets the day afterwards. What 
more natural than that people in the mass should have 
been more impressed by the lead and steel than by the 
paper documents? 

Lord Napier, however, had confidence in the good 
intentions of the Russian Government ; and this confidence 
was fully shared by Lord Augustus Loftus, who, on 
May 12, 1 861, wrote to Mr. White from Berlin the 
following letter: 

"The Government here are watching with much interest 
the events in Poland, but they show no token of alarm 
for their Polish population and have taken no military 
precautions, trusting fully in the forces they now have 
there and more especially in the loyalty and force of their 
German population. I have read with great interest 
your several despatches on the events passing at Warsaw. 
The language of the Russian Minister here [Baron 
Budberg] is very moderate and conciliatory, and leads 
me to suppose that the Government are desirous, by 
making large concessions, to win over to their side the 
Moderate Party. The ' Provisorium/ which the state 
of things may well be termed, existing since 1831, has 
lasted already too long ; and there appears to be a real 
desire on the part of the Russian Government to introduce 
a more liberal system. In my opinion, Poland can only 
obtain her rights and privileges by means of Russia and 
not in opposition to her. 

" Believe to remain, dear sir, 

" Yours very truly, 

"Augustus Loftus." 


The view expressed by Lord Augustus Loftus in the 
concluding sentence of his letter looks, in the present 
day, very like a platitude. But the general, the almost 
universal belief at that time was that just government 
for Poland could only be obtained through the action 
of the representatives of the various European States 
bound together in a menacing league. 

A second letter from Lord Augustus Loftus, written at 
Berlin, when he had just returned from a visit to Vienna, 
shows what impression had been made upon him a year 
later by the appointment of the Grand-Duke Constantine 
to the Vice-Royalty of Poland : 

'• Berlin, June 8M, 1862. 

14 Dear Sir, 

"I learn that the Grand-Duke Constantine s 
appointment is received at Vienna with some doubt 
and apprehension as he is considered to be imbued with 
Panslavist tendencies, which in the course of time 
might prove attractive to Poles beyond the present 
Polish limits. 

"For my part, I regard this appointment as an event 
of considerable importance, and likely to lead to the 
formation of an independent Polish kingdom under the 
Grand-Duke Constantine. Such a plan would not be 
wholly distasteful to the Muscovite Russian Party, who 
would be glad to be rid of the embarrassment of Poland, 
provided that Russia could succeed in indemnifying herself 
in the East" 

It has been seen that Mr. White was first appointed 
to the Warsaw Consulate on the recommendation of 
General Mansfield, who, on his departure, in 1857, for 
India was replaced by Colonel Simmons, R.E. (now 
Field-Marshal Sir John Lintorn Simmons) ; who obtained 
for Mr. White the appointment of Vice-Consul with a 
salary of £200 a year. 

Colonel Simmons was followed at Warsaw by Colonel 


(afterwards Sir Edward) Stanton, R.E. ; and until the 
year 1861 {Consult Stanton) Poland passed through a 
period of profound peace. She was no more independent, 
nor, in a legal sense, self-governing than under the 
reign of Nicholas. But she was ruled with humanity. 
She was scarcely, indeed, ruled at all. 

Under the Emperor Nicholas, Poland had been so 
severely crushed that when Russia found herself at 
war with England, France, Turkey, and Sardinia, the 
Poles did not venture to raise a finger. Half a dozen 
years afterwards, beneath the mildest rule, they took up 
arms against a generous, kind-hearted sovereign, whose 
benevolence had been mistaken for weakness. Under 
Nicholas the secret police was always at work, and the 
army was recruited by a system not of conscription, but 
of simple proscription. Just as on Russian estates the 
proprietors were expected to furnish a list of available 
recruits, whom they selected at will, so throughout Poland 
recruitment was effected on the reports and through the 
agency of the political police. 

From the creation, by the Vienna Congress, of the new 
kingdom in 1815 up to the rebellion of 1830, Poland 
possessed her own national army, which after the sup- 
pression of the insurrection was naturally abolished. Then 
came the odious system of forced recruitment under which 
young men of rebellious tendencies, of patriotic feeling, 
or even of high aspirations were marked down on a black 
list as dangerous characters, and at the proper moment 
incorporated in the Russian Army. 

It has been already mentioned that the old Nicholas 
system of recruitment was, soon after the accession of 
Alexander II., formally done away with; though there 
was as yet no occasion for the new law, borrowed from 
France, to be put in force. All recruitment had stopped ; 


and the Warsaw garrison, so formidable under the pre- 
vious reign, had been allowed to dwindle down to only 
a few thousand men. Russia was suffering from a bad 
headache ; the natural consequence of the ruinous war 
from which she had just emerged. She had ceased to 
be aggressive, whether towards her neighbours or towards 
her. own subjects. 

Poles, like Russians, were still liable to arbitrary arrest 
followed by unexplained imprisonment and exile without 
specified cause. But in the Polish jails there were, as 
a matter of fact, no political prisoners. 

As for reforms in Poland, was not the new attitude of 
the Government towards its subjects in itself a reform? 
Some reforms, however, of a positive kind were being 
undertaken by the Poles themselves, without, for a time, 
being discountenanced by the Russian Government 

Soon after the accession of the Emperor Alexander II., 
and with his express sanction, the Agricultural Society 
of the Kingdom of Poland had been formed under the 
Presidency of Count Andrew Zamoyski. The Association 
was composed of landed proprietors to the number of 
some four thousand ; and its meetings were attended 
by delegates from the agricultural societies of Posen, 
Cracow, and Lemberg ; the chief cities, that is to say, 
of Austrian and Prussian Poland 

The work which, above all, occupied the attention of 
the Society was a project for relieving the peasantry, 
still in a state of mitigated serfdom, from taskwork, and 
making over to them the portions of land which they 
had hitherto cultivated in return for labour required 
from them on his own particular land by the manorial 

After discussing the project for some considerable time, 
the Society ended by adopting it, voting the measure 


just as though the Agricultural Association had been a 
legislative assembly. Disturbances, meanwhile, suppressed 
with violence and bloodshed by the troops, broke out in 
the streets of Warsaw on the very day that the Agri- 
cultural Society performed its quasi-political act. It had 
been made to play a part in certain manifestations, which, 
regarded at first as harmless, had at last assumed a 
threatening if not a dangerous character ; and under these 
circumstances the Association was dissolved. The chief 
reason, however, for dissolving it, was that it had assumed 
political functions. 

The dissolution of the Agricultural Society was soon 
to be followed by important reforms, the work of a Polish 
magnate, the Marquis Wielopolski, who had obtained for 
them the sanction of the Emperor. 

Unfortunately the Marquis Wielopolski, the author of 
the new reforms, was the most unpopular man in Poland. 
Generally mistrusted by reason of his well-known desire 
to raise up his native land through the action of Russia 
— which implied obedience and loyalty as conditions 
precedent — he was disliked by his equals and associates 
on account of his haughty and overbearing disposition. 

Lord Napier, in one of his despatches on the subject 
of the Wielopolski reforms, speaks with personal knowledge 
and regret of the Marquis's "inability to brook con- 

The following letters from Lord Napier to Mr. White 
show the views taken of Polish affairs at St Petersburg 
shortly before the insurrection : 

"St. Petersburg, 

"July 2nd, 1862. 

" My dear Sir, 

* I thank you very much for your last etter and 
despatches. You say very truly that the aspect of affairs 
at Warsaw at the moment of which you write was more 



encouraging than that of St Petersburg. But your 
prospects are dimmed immediately afterwards by the 
attempt upon General Liiders. I know that the day 
before the news reached the Emperor of that incident 
very encouraging impressions had been sent up of the 
state of public feeling in Poland, and the Government 
were congratulating themselves on the success of Marquis 
Wielopolski's first proceedings, when the intelligence of 
the attempted assassination arrived. The Emperor at 
once decided that the Grand-Duke should go down, and 
the Grand-Duke came at the same moment spontaneously 
to the same conclusion. 

" The Grand-Duchess would not be left behind, though 
she was so far advanced towards her confinement. You 
have, therefore, a prompt and conciliatory policy in return 
for the very act which was designed to frustrate it A 
strong Government generally profits by the excesses of 
its adversaries, and I believe the Russian Government 
will derive advantage ultimately both from the incendiary 
fires and the abortive assassination." 

"St. Pkteksburg, 

„ w " Octobtr 2W, 1863. 

"My dear Sir, 

"No one could hail with more satisfaction than I 
the symptoms of improvement in Poland which your last 
despatches indicate. I do hope that these good impres- 
sions will be confirmed. No one who views these matters 
with a dispassionate eye can doubt the good intentions 
of the Emperor towards Poland, to the extent of establish- 
ing in that country a liberal, enlightened administration, 
with some elements of a national character. On this basis 
the representative system must be raised at a later period. 
National independence is out of the question. At least, 
it is not worth while seriously speculating upon a con- 
tingency so remote and chimerical. 

" Believe me, 

11 Yours very truly, 

11 Napier. 

" P.S. — You have of course seen what may truly be 
called the greatest measure of law-reform which the world 
ever saw: the introduction of the Judicial Institutions 
of France into Russia. The code itself will, I presume, 
soon follow." 


"St. Petersburg, 

" December 28M, 1862. 

" My dear Sir, 

" I thank you very sincerely for your interesting 
letter, which renews my hopes which I have never 
abandoned of a better future for Poland under the 
Emperor and Wielopolski. The Grand-Duke has a 
glorious mission ; and one less difficult, but also arduous 
and honourable, has just been delegated to his brother, the 
Grand-Duke Michael. It is a very fine thing to see the 
Princes of the Imperial family becoming the instruments 
of an enlightened and conciliatory policy in the disordered 
and neglected provinces of the Empire. In the Caucasus 
the whole civil administration has to be recast in conformity 
with the principles now in vogue. The Grand-Duke will 
go with a kindly and ingenuous mind, susceptible of just 
impressions. His character will probably gain firmness 
when he has filled for some time an independent and 
responsible position. 

" I am very grateful to Marquis Wielopolski for his 
amiable recollections and for the message which he 
confided to you. I beg you will present or forward this 
letter to him. 

" Believe me, 

* Yours faithfully, 

" Napier. 

11 To W. A. White, Esq." 

The arrival of the Grand-Duke Constantine at Warsaw, 
accompanied by the Marquis Wielopolski, did not have 
the effect that might reasonably have been anticipated. 
More than once the Russian troops had fired upon the 
people — assembling in crowds and refusing to disperse ; 
and it was asked whether the Emperor thought he could 
atoi.e for such injuries by sending his brother to Poland 
as Viceroy. What the arrival of the Grand-Duke and 
Wielopolski really meant was that, even if the extreme 
revolutionary party persisted in committing outrages 
the Government would, all the same, persist in introducing 
the promised reforms. 


Until this time the conduct of the Russians in Warsaw 
had been marked by good intentions, evil actions, and 
much indecision. The system of recruitment by designa- 
tion had been replaced by conscription through ballot, as 
in France— legally, that is to say ; for, as a matter of fact, 
there had been no recruitment since the Crimean War. 
A Polish Council of State, together with elective district 
and municipal councils, had been formed ; and a circular 
was despatched to the various foreign governments 
announcing the introduction of these reforms. They were 
represented, however, by the Poles abroad as absolutely 
without value ; and neither in England nor in France did 
the general public pay any attention to them. News, 
on the other hand, was constantly arriving of excesses 
committed by the Russian soldiery in dispersing crowds, 
or in ejecting from churches congregations who had 
assembled ostensibly for religious observances, in reality 
for patriotic manifestations. 

The whole population of Warsaw, men and women, 
had gone into mourning ; and the news of this unanimous 
protest against an intolerable state of things quite over- 
shadowed such good effects as might have been produced 
abroad by the knowledge that the Marquis and the Grand- 
Duke were persisting, notwithstanding the most violent 
opposition, in introducing their remedial measures. 

General Prince Gortchakoff had begun by giving up 
Warsaw to the care of the Poles and allowing their 
patriotic manifestations to take place without being 
watched either by troops or by police, other than their 
own special constables. He ended by ordering volley 
after volley to be fired on an unresisting, unarmed crowd. 
A few months later he died, after giving orders that he 
should be buried not at Warsaw, but at Sebastopol, where 
he had greatly distinguished himself during the siege. 


The Russians charged him with having fostered the 
insurrection by his mildness ; while the Poles accused 
him of having provoked it by his severity. 

He was succeeded by three other military governors, 
the last of whom was that General Ltiders who was shot 
at and badly wounded just before the arrival of the 
Grand-Duke Constantine. 

It having been proposed that religious services should 
be performed everywhere in memory of Kosciuszko, 
the Government absolutely forbade them. The formal 
veto remained, however, without effect. Soon after the 
beginning of mass, one of the principal churches was 
surrounded by troops. Eighteen hours later, during 
which time a strict siege had been maintained, the soldiers, 
at four in the morning, entered the church and made 
several thousand arrests. 

"The deeds of profanation committed yesterday," 
wrote the Vicar-General of the diocese in a letter to 
the Chief of the Government, " have filled the inhabitants 
of the entire country with indignation and horror. Acts 
such as these are beyond the reach of language and carry 
us back to the times of Attila." 

To mark its sense of the outrage committed, the Con- 
sistory ordered every church in Warsaw to be closed. 

The Vicar-General, tried by court-martial, was sentenced 
to death, though the punishment awarded by the military 
tribunal was at once replaced by exile to Siberia. 

To illustrate the anarchical character of the tyranny 
that was now being practised in Poland it must be 
mentioned that the siege of the churches, ordered by 
General Gerstenschweig, the military governor, was 
violently condemned by Count Lambert, the civil governor, 
who was a Catholic ; and, at the end of a furious 
altercation, General Gerstenschweig blew his brains 


out, while Count Lambert quitted Warsaw and even 

One of the first acts of Constantine was to annul the 
Vicar-General's sentence of exile; and one of the first 
acts of the sworn revolutionists was to fire at and wound 
the Grand-Duke whom they mistrusted, et dona /erentim. 

Undeterred by the attack made upon him, the new 
Viceroy went on with his reforms. Administrative 
autonomy of the most complete kind had been formally 
introduced, and every Russian functionary was now with- 
drawn from the Civil Service to be replaced by a Pole. 

The Russians regarded this measure as an act of 
treachery on the part of Wielopolski, who wished, they 
said, to prepare the way for a great national uprising ; 
while the Grand-Duke Constantine in consenting to it 
was accused of sacrificing to his own personal ambition 
the interests of Russia. 

The Russians overrated the significance of the Wielo- 
polski reforms almost as much as the Poles under- 
valued them. But they saw that if the measures were 
favourably accepted, Poland would be separated from 
Russia by her Government without being united to 
her by any feeling of common interest They also 
perceived that the kingdom of Poland, with its Polish 
university and gymnasiums, its Polish Council of State, 
and its district and municipal councils would become a 
centre of attraction to the Poles of the old Polish provinces 
incorporated with the Russian Empire. 

The Prussians believed that Poland and the Wielopolski 
system would exercise too much influence on Posen ; and 
the Russian Government was advised from Berlin not 
to make concessions to its discontented Polish subjects, 
but to assume towards them an attitude of decision and 
restore order by military means. 


An Austrian general of considerable political acumen said 
to an English friend, when it had already become evident 
that the Poles would not accept the Wielopolski system : 

"They think they understand their own interests, 
but we also believe that we know ours ; and when we 
found that Wielopolski's scheme was rejected we could 
not contain ourselves for joy. If the system devised by 
the Marquis had been adopted by his countrymen, Warsaw 
and the Polish ' kingdom ' would have become so intensely 
Polish, and would have exercised such an irresistible 
attraction on all the other portions of ancient Poland, 
that in six months we should have lost Galicia." 

There was one idea by which numbers of Poles were 
haunted, that could not possibly be brought forward in 
public discussion ; an idea which had been present to 
many imaginative minds ever since the liberation of Italy 
by Napoleon III.. Would they not, if they rose against 
Russia, be helped by the great liberator of suffering 
nationalities ? Italy had never asked Austria for reforms ; 
the only reform she cared for being the withdrawal of 
Austrian troops from Lombardy and Venetia. In due 
time, however, Napoleon III. had driven the Austrian 
garrison out of Lombardy, as in proper season at the fit 
opportunity he would surely expel the Russian garrison 
from Poland. 

To accept Wielopolski's system and trust to Russia 
for further reforms would be to abandon all hope of a 
French intervention, of which some encouraging signs 
had already shown themselves. Sympathetic articles and 
pamphlets had been published very numerously at Paris ; 
and Poles of high position were known to have had 
conversations on the subject with the Emperor Napoleon, 
who was quite prepared, he said, to take up the cause 
of Poland "as soon as he had settled the Mexican 


Among Sir William White's papers, I find a translation 
of a proclamation issued by the revolutionary government 
of Poland, the so-called " National Junta/' just after the 
conscription had been carried out It begins with a call 
to arms, and ends by a decree of outlawry against 
Wielopolski and " all the criminal band who have taken 
part in the recruitment." M It is permitted," concludes 
the proclamation, " to every one to judge and to execute 
them without incurring any sort of responsibility, either 
before God or the country." 

As a general statement of the case, nothing could have 
been fairer than Lord Napier's despatch on the subject 
of the forced and arbitrary recruitment — which also Sir 
William White had preserved. He described it as "a 
design to make a clean sweep of the revolutionary youth 
of Poland, to shut up the most dangerous spirits in the 
restraints of the Russian Army, to kidnap the opposition, 
and carry it off to Siberia or the Caucasus. This 
proposal, so totally out of keeping with the humane and 
intelligent order of things recently inaugurated in Poland," 
continued Lord Napier, " has created great surprise among 
many persons well affected towards the Russian Govern- 
ment ; for it was apprehended, that even if the Government 
should succeed in disposing of a number of dangerous 
antagonists, yet the moral obloquy attending this act 
would greatly outweigh the material advantage to be 
gained. It seemed to my humble judgment to be the 
single considerable error committed in Poland since the 
nomination of Marquis Wielopolski." 

The Russians, knowing that Mr. White spoke Polish 
perfectly, and that he had numbers of Polish friends, 
suspected him of undue sympathy for the Poles. But 
Colonel Stanton and Mr. White never allowed themselves 
to be blinded by Polish predilections, and some of their 


published reports on the subject of the Polish disturbances 
were looked upon by important newspapers in England 
as far too Russian. Thus Colonel Stanton (with whom 
Mr. White was absolutely at one) was specially con- 
demned by the Saturday Review as " one of those military 
officials in whose eyes the only thing important is the 
preservation of order." 

Most of the consular despatches were addressed to 
Lord Napier at St Petersburg, and Lord Napier's letters 
in reply show how well he was satisfied with them. Some 
of them, however, were sent direct to Lord Russell ; who, 
after the outbreak of 1863, when the time seemed to have 
come for organising against Russia a diplomatic demon- 
stration on the part of all Europe, called Mr. White to 
London in order that he might be at hand should the 
Foreign Minister need by chance his assistance and 
advice. The noble earl, however, showed himself quite 
equal to the occasion. In his younger days he was 
equally ready, according to a great humourist, to take the 
command of the Channel Fleet, or perform the operation 
for stone ; and in 1863 it was mere child's play for him 
to draw up a list of concessions which the Russian 
Government had only to publish in order at once to 
pacify Poland. 

He may have taken counsel from some of the leading 
members of the Polish emigration in London, but he 
never thought of consulting Mr. White; than whom no 
one was better acquainted with the exact nature of the 
concessions already made to the Poles and the concessions 
which, under favourable conditions, might yet be granted 
to them. 

An intense believer in constitutional government 
wherever and however applied, it at once occurred to Lord 
Russell when the insurrection of 1863 broke out, that it 



must be due to the withdrawal of the constitution of 
1815, thirty-three years previously— the same harmless, 
necessary constitution that Napoleon had granted in 1807 
to the Grand-Duchy of Warsaw. 

In this view he was doubtless encouraged by a very 
distinguished Pole, who some months afterwards prevailed 
upon him to make the unfortunate declaration — so soon 
to be withdrawn — that by refusing to restore the famous 
constitution of 181 5 Russia had forfeited her rights over 
the Polish kingdom. 

Already on March 2, some five weeks after the 
outbreak of the insurrection, Lord Russell had sent a 
despatch to St Petersburg reminding the Russian Govern- 
ment, through Lord Napier, that the stipulations of the 
treaty of Vienna in respect to Poland had long ceased 
to be observed, and advising as the best means of pacifying 
the country the formation of a National Diet and the 
introduction of a National Administration. 

A few days afterwards his Lordship addressed a 
circular to the English representatives abroad, enclosing 
a copy of his despatch, and directing them to recommend 
" a communication of similar views by the representative 
at St Petersburg of the Powers who were parties to 
the treaty of June, 1815" 

A National Administration the Poles, thanks to 
Wielopolski, already possessed in the completest possible 
form ; an administration in which every official was 
a Pole and consequently not one a Russian. 

A Diet they did not possess. But to demand its 
establishment and to attempt to procure similar demands 
from the representatives of all foreign Powers who were 
parties to the treaty of 1 8 1 5 was to let the Poles under- 
stand that they had formidable backers in Europe, 
and that the insurrection, powerless in itself, had now 


something to rest upon. The Russian Government would 
not be likely to accede to the demands pressed upon it 
by foreign Powers; and the Poles reflected with natural 
delight that what Prince Gortchakoff called "an inter- 
change of ideas " 'might possibly in the end lead to an 
interchange of bullets. 

In the autumn of 1862 Mr. White made the acquaintance 
of Messrs. Walker and Whicher, two English police 
officials, the precise object of whose visit will be best 
understood from the following letter which Baron 
Brunnow, Russian Ambassador in London, addressed 
in September, 1862, to the Home Secretary, Sir George 

" The Grand-Duke Constantine during his former stay 
in this country was particularly impressed by the beneficial 
influence which your police regulations exercise for the 
maintenance of good order, legality, and public security. 
His Imperial Highness is desirous of establishing a similar 
institution in the kingdom of Poland, whose welfare is 
now intrusted to his care by H.M. the Emperor. The 
Grand-Duke is the more anxious to introduce a useful 
reform into this branch of the public service, as 
such a reform may enable him to put an end as soon 
as possible to the now existing martial law, and to 
replace the country under the rule of the regular civil 

After spending a few weeks in Warsaw, Messrs. Walker 
and Whicher wrote to their chief, Sir Richard Mayne, 
as follows : 

M Everything seems very quiet, and no further attempts 
at assassination have been made, although it is feared 
that similar acts will be repeated ; but every precaution 
is taken to prevent them. Indeed, the Government seems 
in a constant state of apprehension." 

They added that their mission was kept secret except 


from three officials with whom they had been working, 
'lest its character should be misunderstood and their 
personal safety endangered." 

Mr. White received visits also from several of his 
old Cambridge friends, Lord Stratheden and Campbell, 
Mr. W. H. Clark (Public Orator), and Dr. Birkbeck, 
Downing Professor of Law ; also from Mr. Edward Dicey 
and Mr. W. H. Hall, who afterwards published a very 
interesting account of what he had seen in insurgent 
Poland entitled Polish Experiences. 

Mr. Laurence Oliphant, too, appeared upon the scene, 
commissioned to travel through various parts of Poland 
in order to report to the Prime Minister what chance, 
if any, the insurrection had of success, and how long 
it was likely to last. 

Besides going to Warsaw (whence he made a visit to 
a camp of insurgents in a not-far-distant wood), he 
stayed a short time at Cracow, and passed through 
Galicia to Volhynia and the Ruthenian provinces; parts 
of ancient Poland with which the Consulate-General 
at Warsaw was not called upon to occupy itself, and 
about which, as a matter of fact, it received little or 
no information. 

Laurence Oliphant's report to Lord Palmerston could 
only have been to the effect that the insurrection un- 
supported from abroad must soon die out 

It lasted a considerable time. But it was supported 
from abroad— supported with false hopes. 



LORD RUSSELL entertained the highest opinion of 
Mr. White's abilities, which did not prevent him 
from cherishing a far higher one of his own. He had 
already been acquainted with Mr. White for more than 
two years when, in 1863, he summoned him from Warsaw 
to London that he might be at hand should any information 
be required in regard to the demands in favour of Poland 
which the English Government was on the point of 
addressing to St. Petersburg. It has already, however, 
been said that Mr. White was not once consulted by 
Lord Russell, who preferred to take for his advisers the 
leading Poles of the emigration ; men who had been 
separated from Poland for upwards of thirty years 

"They are like the exiles described by Macaulay in 
his history," said Sir William White, speaking one day 
on this very subject. " They think nothing has changed 
in their country since they left it." 

It was much to be regretted ; for not only did Lord 
Russell bring ridicule on himself, his Government, and his 
country, by asking for concessions which the Russians 
had already spontaneously made, but he gave them the 
right to believe that in his demands he was not even 
sincere — an injustice of which no one with any knowledge 
of Lord Russell's character would be guilty. 

It was hard to believe that with all the European States, 



save Prussia, leagued together in favour of Poland, nothing 
would come of their representations except additional 
misfortunes for the Poles and a notable increase in the 
numbers of the Russian Army. There were many Poles 
who believed in the general efficacy of the diplomatic 
intervention, and a few who imagined, as all hoped, that 
it might lead to war ; while there were scarcely any who, 
from beginning to end, felt sure, as they ought to have 
done, that in the first place England would do nothing, 
and, as a natural consequence, that France also would 
refrain from action. 

One such, however, was Count Alfred Poto^ki, after- 
wards Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Austrian Cabinet. 
He had, at the beginning of his diplomatic career, been 
attached to the Austrian Embassy in London, where he 
made the acquaintance of Mr. Charles Greville, author 
of the famous Memoirs. Mr. Greville corresponded with 
him on all important political events ; and in a letter 
on Polish affairs, which Count Alfred Poto^ki showed me, 
he set forth that the London manifestations in favour 
of Poland would lead to nothing. 

u Meetings," he wrote, u will be held, speeches will be 
made in Parliament, representations will be addressed 
to the Russian Government ; but the excitement will 
gradually cool down, and all will end in smoke." 

" Mr. Greville," said Count Poto^ki, " judges so correctly, 
that I always adopt his views ; and this time, as on 
other occasions, I am sure that he is right" 

When the fury of the first outbreak had subsided, the 
progress of the insurrection was regulated more or less 
perfectly on that of the diplomatic intervention, and 
the failure of the latter meant the collapse of the former. 
Prince Gortchakoff had told Lord Russell that his 


propositions, as a whole, were unacceptable ; and when 
Lord Russell had informed the Emperor of the French, 
through M. Drouyn de Lhuys, that his Majesty's pro- 
posal to hold a Conference could not be acceded to by 
thq English Government, then all occasion for forming 
insurgent bands in Galicia, in order to attack the Russians 
in Poland, had come to an end. 

Lord Russell's last performance in connection with 
the deplorable diplomatic comedy in which he had played 
an undignified part bordered closely on the tragic. He 
had wisely refused the Emperor Napoleon's invitation to 
join his Conference, which was to have deliberated on 
the most pressing affairs of the moment, with the Polish 
question before all others. But he went very near war 
on his own account when, partly of his own accord, 
partly at the instigation of a distinguished Polish friend, 
he declared that, by reason of Russia's refusal to restore 
the Polish constitution of 181 5, as guaranteed — at Russia's 
request — by the leading Powers of Europe, her title to 
rule in Poland could no longer be recognised, and had, 
in fact, come to an end. 

Informed by telegraph from St Petersburg that the 
despatch, if presented, might lead to serious conse- 
quences, his Lordship recalled it, and afterwards struck 
out all the passages in it which referred to the Emperor 
of Russia's title as King of Poland. 

" In the new despatch it is difficult/' said Mr. Pope 
Hennessy in the House of Commons, " to know what has 
been cut out, but it is "easy to see the scar." 

What had really happened was this. 

After making a touching little speech at Blairgowrie 
(a place unknown at that time to fame) on the text of an 
inscription, " Rest and be thankful," which he had read 
on some seat provided for the tired wayfarer, Lord 


Russell pointed out that there was an end to reform, as 
to everything else, and that when such reforms as those 
which had so greatly interested him in the course of a 
long career had once been obtained, the only thing to 
do was to " rest and be thankful" He felt it impossible, 
however, to extend this feeling of composure towards a 
certain Power which had failed alike in its engagements 
towards Europe and in its duty towards its own subjects ; 
and all that, in this condition of things, could be said to 
Russia was that her right to rule in Poland had ceased. 

Lord Russell's speech caused infinite joy to the Poles ; 
for they were clever enough to see, that if the English 
Minister stuck to his words, a breach with Russia could 
be the only result An intimate friend of Lord Russell's, 
Count Ladislas Zamoyski, who with the best possible 
feelings towards England was, as a matter of course, still 
better disposed towards his own country, congratulated 
Lord Russell heartily on the bold, decided character of 
his Blairgowrie speech. 

" 1 think, too," added Count Ladislas, " that we shall 
hear more of it. I am not a betting man, but I have 
promised to give £100 to a charity if you do not within 
a certain time embody the most important part of your 
speech in a despatch." 

" Well, we shall see," replied Lord Russell ; " and I 
don't think," he added with a smile, " that you will have 
to pay the money." 

Lord Russell wrote his despatch, and sent it off, but 
only to recall it on a hint to that effect from the 
English Ambassador at St. Petersburg. 

As soon as it was quite clear that all diplomatic 
negotiations in favour of Poland, whether between the 
European Powers and Russia, or between England and 
France, or between England and Russia, as represented 


by Lord Russell and by Prince Gortchakoff, had come 
absolutely to a close, then it was evidently useless to 
sacrifice any more lives, and the insurrection came to 
an end. 

The Russians saw, moreover, that the time had come 
for stamping out resistance in every form. The theatres, 
which throughout the insurrection and for some con- 
siderable time preceding it, had remained closed, were 
now opened by superior authority. For nearly two years 
every one had worn mourning. To wear mourning, 
except for near relatives, was now made a punishable 
offence ; and equally so to wear any sort of headgear 
except the top-hat, the " cylinder of civilisation," as Count 
Berg called it in his droll proclamation on the subject. 

Count Berg, moreover, — most cruel cut of all, — issued 
cards for a series of balls, at which all the most im- 
portant personages of the Polish aristocracy were expected 
to attend. 

One afternoon, I met in company with Mr. White a 
member of one of the most important families in Poland, 
whose brother had been implicated in the insurrection. In 
the course of conversation, he said that he was going that 
evening to the first of Count Berg's receptions. Possibly 
I looked a little astonished, for he at once added : 

" It is better to put on a white cravat for half an hour 
than to have our Lithuanian estates confiscated." 

Before taking leave of Poland I may say a few words 
as to the composition and character of the Consular body 
at Warsaw at the time when Mr. White belonged to 
it as English Vice-Consul. The establishment of Con- 
sulates in Poland was due to the Emperor Nicholas, 
who, after the suppression of the rebellion of 1830, 
showed in many ways, now advantageous, now injurious 
to the Poles, that he still regarded the "Congress 



Kingdom "asa separate State under the Russian Crown. 
He sent to Siberia thousands of Poles from the Polish 
provinces incorporated with the Russian Empire, but 
exiled no one from the kingdom ; which did not prevent 
numbers of its inhabitants, mistrustful of the Imperial 
mercy, from exiling themselves— chiefly to Paris and 
to London. The refugees, however, were for the most 
part Lithuanians. 

The Emperor Nicholas recognised the validity of the 
banknotes and bonds issued by the Insurrectionary 
Government ; but while ordering them to be paid on 
presentation, charged the money to the Treasury of the 
kingdom, regarded as a separate State. 

In 1849 he intervened with an armed force in Austria, 
convinced that the establishment of Hungarian indepen- 
dence would be followed by an attempt on the part of 
the Hungarians, with their Polish legion in the vanguard, 
to conquer the independence of Poland. Under these 
circumstances he charged the cost of the intervention 
to the Poles in whose interest he claimed to have 
undertaken it. 

The French Consul-General in 1863 was M. de Val- 
blzen, who had previously been Consul at Calcutta, 
where he had formed favourable opinions of the English 
and of their rule in India. After the suppression of 
the insurrection in Poland he retired with the rank of 
Ministre en Disponibilitl ; eligible, that is to say, for a 
Legation which he was never likely to receive. 

The Austrian Consul-General was Baron Von Lederer, 
who, after the insurrection, was appointed Minister at 

Colonel Stanton, R.E., the English Consul-General, 
was promoted soon after the restoration of " Order " to 
be Consul-General and Diplomatic Agent at Alexandria, 


receiving at the same time the K.C.B. The English, 
French, and Austrian Consuls were excellent friends ; 
and, partly perhaps because their Governments were 
intervening on behalf of Poland, were well received and 
much sought after in Polish society. 

The Prussian Consul-General, representing a Power 
which had said plainly from the first that it was opposed 
to insurrection in Poland, which refused to join the 
European intervention on behalf of the Poles, and which 
justified its attitude by pointing out that the independence 
of the Polish kingdom would necessitate an addition to 
the Prussian Army of a hundred thousand men ; this 
representative of a candid if cynical Government was 
looked upon, through no fault of his own, with but little 
favour. In private conversation he did the fullest 
justice to the patriotism of the Poles, while professing 
not to understand it 

* Faire du patriotistne sur le Boulevard des Italiens ? " 
he once said to me. " Oui, Je comprehends cela ! Mais 
id? ccst de la foliel" 

The only complaint Baron Von Lederer had to make 
of the Poles was that they attached too much importance 
to the assistance rendered by Sobieski to Austria in 
1683. He kept always at hand a history of the defence 
of Vienna against the Turks, ready on the slightest 
provocation from a Polish visitor to show him what an 
important part in the decisive battle had been taken by the 
Duke of Lorraine and his numerous German regiments. 

Two Prussian officers sent to Poland as military 
commissioners were nowhere received as welcome guests 
except of course at the foreign Consulates and especially 
the English Consulate, where the chief was himself a 
soldier. As for the Poles, they could not help feeling that 
if by some marvellous chance the insurrection showed 


signs of success, a single word from the Prussian military 
commissioners would cause their Government to take 
action against it One of these officers, Colonel (now 
General) Verdy du Vernois (whom I afterwards met in 
the Franco-German War, at the King's headquarters), 
became one of Sir William White's most intimate friends, 
especially after his promotion to the Consulate at Dantzic, 
whence his duties called him often to Berlin. 

Count Bismarck was Foreign Minister at the time ; 
and he was well rewarded for his decided attitude in 
favour of Russia when, immediately after the Polish 
insurrection, the Schleswig-Holstein Question again showed 
itself; for this time Russia took the German side. 

His foresight and determination were once more 
rewarded when, in 1866, Russia left Prussia a free 
hand in regard to Austria; and finally, in 1870, when a 
still greater service was rendered to his country by 
Russia's watchful bearing towards Austria, at a moment 
when Prussia thought it quite probable that Austria would 
render assistance to the French — or the Sixth Prussian 
Corps would not at the beginning of the campaign have 
been kept in observation on the Silesian frontier. 

Austria in connection with the Polish insurrection 
played a double part Siding diplomatically with France 
and England she co-operated, through occasional action 
against Galician insurgents, with Russia ; while, by toler- 
ating up to a certain point the formation of insurgent 
bands on Austro-Polish territory, she showed her power- 
ful neighbour that she could at any time, by direct 
encouragement, bring about a formidable insurrection in 
the Polish kingdom. 

The French, English, and Austrian Consuls — especially 
the English and the French — used to be asked, ques- 
tioned, and entreated on the subject of the hoped-for 


intervention. They of course knew nothing more than 
was known to many other persons : the negotiations being 
carried on not with the authorities at Warsaw, but 
with the Government at St. Petersburg. So eager, so 
overstrained was the popular anxiety on the subject that 
groups of excited patriots might sometimes be seen on 
the banks of the Vistula, gazing down the stream to 
see if there were any signs of the English fleet coming 
up from Dantzic. 

In the absence of human intervention, divine aid was 
looked for ; and there was a pear-tree in the Saxon 
Gardens above which daily at noon multitudes of devout 
Poles used to declare that they saw a cross of fire in 
the heavens. As a persistent belief in the miraculous 
apparition might possibly have led to local troubles, 
the Russians, in a coarsely practical manner, cut down 
the pear-tree; when the promise of victory was no 
longer seen. 

Poland in 1863 was still governed as a separate 
kingdom with its own particular departments of state. 
Baron Osten Sacken was Director of Foreign Affairs ; 
M. de Laski, Director of Finance. One of the most 
amiable and best intentioned of the high officials was 
the Marquis Paulucci, Chief of Police at the beginning 
of the patriotic manifestations which, little by little, led 
to the armed insurrection. The Polish organisers of 
one particular demonstration gave him their word (he 
himself told me) that if everything was left to them, 
and neither troops nor police appeared on the scene, 
there should be nothing resembling a breach of the 
peace; and they kept their promise. 

w They are not then a difficult people to govern ? " I 
said to the Marquis. 

" On peut Its mener avec un fil de soie" he replied. 



MR. WHITE now thought only of leaving Poland. 
Lord Napier, who had been much pleased with 
his despatches from Warsaw during the insurrection, 
had been appointed Ambassador at Berlin, and he had 
promised Mr. White to recommend him for a Consulate 
in Prussia on the first opportunity. 

Lord Augustus Loftus, in his valuable and interesting 
Memoirs tells us that he also recommended Mr. White 
for promotion. 

Apart from the two ambassadorial recommendations, 
Mr. White had written to Lord Clarendon, requesting 
him to do his best towards obtaining for him the Dantzic 
Consulate which at the time seemed on the point of be- 
coming vacant through the serious illness of its occupant 
Lord Clarendon's reply was as follows : 

"/a* 3/64. 
"My dear Sir, 

"Lord Russell has always appeared to be kindly 
disposed towards you on the different occasions when 
1 have spoken to him on your behalf; and I have 
every reason to expect that matters will be, if they 
have not already been, arranged according to your 
wishes, though it is probable that a Consul-General will 
not be retained at Dantzic I hope the unfortunate 
Poles will cease to delude themselves with hopes of any 
foreign assistance. 

" Yours very faithfully, 



" Delude themselves M is good I Who first deluded 

The Poles are probably the most deluded nation 
on the face of the earth. Whether direct oppression 
drives them, or fancied opportunity tempts them to in- 
surrection, their rising is in either case supported by 
the West of Europe ; which, as soon as it has sufficiently 
roused the indignation and provoked the alarm of their 
rulers ; as soon as by its evident wish and apparent 
intention to intervene, it has produced a genuine Reign 
of Terror, then retreats, saying that it has done all it 
was possible to do, and that beyond moral (;.*., grossly 
immoral) support it cannot go. 

On September 17, 1864, Mr. White had still heard 
nothing more about the Dantzic Consulate. Much 
vexed at the delay, he now addressed Lord Russell 
in a direct manner on the subject. Here is his letter : 

" S. Villa, Bath, 

" 17 September, 1864. 

14 Mv Lord, 

"Fifteen months ago, when taking leave of your 
lordship on returning to my post, you were pleased to 
hold out hopes to mc that my claims to preferment 
should not be overlooked whenever a favourable oppor- 
tunity presented itself. 

" I am afraid that no such opportunity has as yet 
occurred, as it is acknowledged on all sides that the 
claims of real merit always find their due appreciation 
under your lordship in the bestowal of Consular patronage. 

" However unwilling I am to trouble your lordship so 
often on personal matters, I wish to submit respectfully 
to your consideration a circumstance connected with my 
present appointment which has not yet been prominently 
enough brought forward, and as I have to return to 
Warsaw without another opportunity of paying my 
respects to your lordship, I venture to make this official 

" Eight years ago, when on the resumption of Diplomatic 



relations with Russia, General, now Sir, William Rose 
Mansfield was appointed Consul-General in Poland, he 
ut himself in communication with me immediately on 
is arrival at Warsaw, and a few months afterwards he 
offered me an appointment, having been authorised to 
do so by the then Secretary of State ; and in urging 
my acceptance of it, Sir William relied chiefly on the 
fact that my education and varied experience had qualified 
me for a service in which by such an opening I could 
look forward to an honourable promotion. 

"Whether these services, however humble and sub- 
ordinate, have been deserving of any such reward, your 
lordship is certainly the best judge, and I am quite willing 
to abide by that judgment, and quite ready to accept any 
appointment in which your lordship will consider that I 
may be employed with advantage to the public service. 

" This much, however, I hope I may be allowed to state 
without being thought either presumptuous or as taking 
too great a liberty — i.e., that my present remuneration, and 
even my present position are not only in my own opinion, 
but also in the estimate, whether of my friends, or of 
persons by no means favourable to me, quite inadequate, 
and that I should never have accepted it when it was 
offered me in February, 1857, if I had not looked upon 
it as a temporary employment and one of probation. 

" I have to apologise to your lordship for the free 
and open manner in which I have presumed to express 
myself, but I have been to a certain extent encouraged 
to do so by the invariable personal kindness shown me 
by your lordship, 

"I have, etc., 

"W. A. White. 

"The Right Honourable, 

"The Earl Russell Ac. K.G., &c" 

It was not until a month later that Mr. White was 
informed that the Consulate, which he had Ibeen expecting 
for nearly a year, would now be given to him. On 
November 15, 1864, Lord Clarendon wrote to him as 
follows : 

" A domestic affliction has prevented my writing to you 
sooner. But I lost no time in applying to the F. O. 


in your favour when I heard of Mr. Flow's death, and I 
have been informed that you will be gazetted in a few 
days. I am sorry to say, however, that Dantzic is no 
longer to be a Consulate- General and that the salary 
is to be reduced. But it will be promotion for you and 
removal from Warsaw." 

On the same day, Lord Russell addressed to Mr. White 
this official notification of his appointment 

"37, Chesham Place, 

"Belgrave Square, 

"M». 15/64. 

"Dear Mr. White, 

I have great pleasure in informing you that the 
Queen has approved of your being appointed Consul at 
Dantzic. The salary will be, I believe, £600 a year. A 
small sum besides will be allowed for office expenses. 

" I remain, 

"Yours truly, 

" Russell." 

At Dantzic, Mr. White was still in Poland ; in a corner, 
that is to say, of the ancient Poland that was partitioned 
as a first operation in 1772. The buildings, the antiquities 
of the city recall in many ways its past history, especially 
the Church of St. Mary, with its celebrated picture of 
the Last Judgment — the work, according to an ancient 
tradition, of St. Methodius, who, in company with St. Cyril, 
converted the Slavonians to Christianity. Painted by 
Hans Memling, and sent from Bruges as a present to the 
Pope, the picture was captured at sea by a Dantzic pirate 
who, with admirable piety, gave it to the church of his 
native town. 

After the reduction of Dantzic by the French in 1807, 
Napoleon sent Memling's " Last Judgment "as a trophy 
of war to Paris, where it remained until 181 5 ; in which 
year, with the various works of art carried away from so 
many cities, it was restored to its legitimate owners. 



Even in Peter the Great's time Dantzic was scarcely 
under Polish Government ; though it was not by the King 
of Prussia (who was ultimately to take possession of it), 
but by the Tsar of Russia that it was ruled. Already 
in 1 716 there was a scheme afloat for dismembering 
Poland, by which Prussia, through the annexation of 
Polish territory was to join together and " round off" her 
disconnected provinces, Russia compensating herself in 
Lithuania, and Austria in Galicia ; while what would 
remain of Poland after these amputations was to be 
made an hereditary kingdom under the sovereignty of 
King Augustus of Saxony. Peter, however, rejected this 
plan, put forward by Frederick I. of Prussia, even as 
Catherine rejected for some time the plan of dismember- 
ment proposed, with ultimate success, by Frederick II.; 
the reason in each case being that Russia wished to 
preserve throughout Poland her political and military pre- 
ponderance, and cared little for a slice of Polish territory 
if slices were also to be appropriated by her Western 

Peter imposed his will on the municipal authorities of 
Dantzic without troubling himself in the slightest degree 
about the Polish Government, which on its side showed 
itself utterly careless as to Peter's goings on. When 
King Augustus arrived to hold a conference with Peter, 
the sovereign of Poland seems to have thought it quite 
natural that the Tsar of Russia should levy fines at 
Dantzic, exact contributions, and cause ships to be con- 
structed. Peter had ordered the city to supply four 
cruisers with twelve guns each, or, in default, to furnish 
two hundred thousand gulden for the purchase of ships, for 
provisioning the ships, and for paying the sailors. As the 
town council would not accept the terms, Peter declared 
Dantzic a hostile city, and ordered General Dolgorouky, 


who was in occupation with a large force, to take vigorous 
measures against it. 

Peter had left Dantzic and was at Amsterdam when 
the Dantzic municipality sent an envoy to him with a 
convention by which it bound itself to furnish three armed 
frigates and a sum of one hundred and forty thousand 
thalers in silver; Peter granting Dantzic in return "a 
confirmation of its privileges. 11 

Russia had, at that time practically the absolute 
command of a fine port on the Baltic ; which she lost 
by the Partition of Poland half a century later. It was 
not, however, until the third Partition, in 1795, that 
Dantzic was definitively acquired by Prussia ; which for 
many years beforehand had cast longing eyes on the 
ancient city, the once impregnable fortress. 

When first threatened by the Prussians, Dantzic 
appealed to Russia for help. But the Russians had lost 
their chance in this direction, and Dantzic fell to the 
lot of Prussia. 

In 1807 Dantzic was taken by the French, and it was 
for a few years the seaport of the Napoleonic "Grand 
Duchy of Warsaw," when, as a consequence of the retreat 
from Moscow, it fell into the power of the Russians. 
But Dantzic was restored to Prussia in 181 5, at the 
Congress of Vienna; the new "Kingdom of Poland" 
being at the same time assigned to Russia. 

At Warsaw Mr. White had seen Slavonians contending 
against the dominion of other Slavonians. 

At Dantzic he found himself in a once Slavonic city 
which had become German. 

At Belgrade he was to see a once Turk-governed 
Slavonic city recover, with the country of which it was 
the capital, its Slavonic character and its complete 


Thus during the first twenty-one years of his consular 
and diplomatic career, he saw the whole of the Slavonic 
world as in a microcosm. 

The Russians, themselves Slavonic with a mixture, 
dominate other Slavonians; the Germans absorb them; 
the Turks disappear before them. 

It was in 1865 that Mr. White arrived at Dantzic in 
view of permanent residence. The new Consul had at 
once to occupy himself with German affairs, and his first 
serious piece of work was a report on the commerce of 
Dantzic, which, by a pardonable development, he enlarged 
into a report on the commerce of Germany in general. 
Surtout beaucoup de ziU was always his maxim. 

At Warsaw the duties of the Consul-General are almost 
exclusively political, though from time to time reports 
have been written from the Warsaw Consulate on the 
subject of Polish manufactures and commerce. A very 
remarkable report was once shown to me by Mr. White 
the work of one of his predecessors, in which it was 
pointed out that the country was growing j-ich, prosperous, 
— and discontented ; every increase in material prosperity 
being accompanied by a corresponding increase in its 
aspirations towards national independence. 

For such a country there can be no hope, not, at least, 
in the near future. The " enrichissez-vous " maxim of the 
bourgeois king has in this case no signification. 

On arriving at Dantzic Mr. White had a dreary prospect 
before him. He had obtained a notable increase of salary, 
from £200 a year to £6oo } with office allowances. But 
the post had no sort of interest for him and he was no 
longer brought into official relations with English political 
leaders as had happened to him on several occasions when 
he was Vice-Consul at Warsaw. 

The Foreign Secretary would not want to consult him 


about the trade of Dantzic or the navigation of the 
Vistula; that thoroughly Polish river, from whose banks 
at a higher point of the stream he had seen the inhabitants 
of Warsaw gazing in feverish expectation of the arrival 
of an English fleet ! 

Once when the Prince of Wales was returning through 
Dantzic from a visit to St. Petersburg Mr. White had 
the honour of receiving His Royal Highness at the 
railway station. Dantzic, however, though highly in- 
teresting by its ancient buildings and its historical 
associations, does not lie on any of the great travelling 
routes ; and no one came to see the new Consul at 
his new post 

He soon arranged, however, to make visits on his own 
account to Berlin where England was now represented 
by the Ambassador, who had carried on with Mr. White 
such a long and interesting correspondence on the subject 
of Polish affairs. These continued to interest Lord 
Napier, even after the Polish insurrection had been 
brought to an end ; and when he had been for some little 
time at Berlin, strange news reached him on the subject 
of Polish convents and the measures taken by the Russian 
Government for suppressing them. Mr. White, if any 
one, would know what it all meant, and, still at Warsaw, 
he received from Lord Napier the following letter on 
the subject : 

" Berlin, 

"Dee. 1, 1864. 

* My dear Sir, 

" I will send you a man early next week, and I will 
advise you of his approach by telegraph. It will be 
very interesting to me to hear your account of the 
measures concerning the suppression of the convents. I 
am myself not a great friend of monks, but placing 
myself in a Roman Catholic point of view, and assuming 


that the religious bodies are virtuous, laborious, and 
enlightened, I conceive that a number of small convents 
disseminated over the surface of a barbarous country 
might be more useful as instruments of education and 
charity than a few large convents placed in cities. 
Whether the small convents were really pious or useful 
institutions in Poland is more than I can judge. I am 
also curious to know whether the lands and revenue of 
the suppressed convents are really honestly appropriated 
to the other wants of the Roman Catholic Church, or, 
at least, of the Roman Catholic people for spiritual 
purposes, and not disposed in favour of the peasants 
temporally, or in favour of orthodox proselytism. I am 
assured that the first is the case. I was very glad to 
learn that you had succeeded in obtaining a remove, and 
to the place which you desired. It will give me great 
pleasure to see you en passant I saw die article in 
KatkofTs journal, and was pleased by it, for my address 
at St. Petersburg did not satisfy all my Russian friends. 
But I don't wish to be praised by a Russian journal 
at Warsaw. 

" Believe me 

* very truly yours, 

" Napier." 

For his report on the trade of Germany, previously 
referred to, Mr. White received an expression of thanks 
from Mr. Hammond, permanent Under-Secretary at the 
Foreign Office. 

Mr. White wished next to show what he knew of 
the Slav countries in Austria, Hungary, and the Balkan 
Peninsula ; and he prepared an elaborate report on the 
subject, which drew from the Foreign Office not a 
request that he would kindly restrict his observations to 
the affairs of his own Consulate, but a cordial letter 
of acknowledgment and thanks. 

Among the letters addressed to Mr. White by Mr. 
Hammond during the first years of his residence at 
Dantzic, the following may be given : 


"F. o., 

" December 28, '65. 

" My dear Sir, 

u I have to thank you for your letter of the 20th, 
which I have shown to Lord Clarendon, who desires me 
to beg you to write to me in the same way whenever 
you have any information to give. 

" Very faithfully yours, 

" G. Hammond." 

Not long afterwards Mr. Hammond again wrote : 

" I have to thank you for your letter of the 17th March, 
and the papers you were so good as to enclose with 
it The long one was very interesting. 

" As regards the fortress what I said, was c that 
Darmstadt was territorial sovereign over one of the most 
important fortresses on the Rhine now occupied by a 
Prussian garrison.' One reporter forgot Mayence and 
concluded for Dantzic." 

Mr. White must have reflected with bitterness that 
he was living and working in a place so entirely beyond 
the ken of newspaper reporters that one of them imagined 
it to be a fortified place on the Rhine, with Darmstadt 
for its territorial sovereign ! 

On June 1, 1870, close upon the eventful time when 
Mr. Hammond was to make his celebrated declaration 
as to the absolute pcaccfulness of the outlook in Europe, 
Mr. White had just sent in a paper on men and things 
in Austria, which drew from the permanent Under- 
Secretary the following reply: 

" I have laid before Lord Clarendon the memorandum 
on Austrian affairs which you sent me on the 23rd, and 
he desires me to thank you for it, and to say he has 
read it with interest 

" Very faithfully yours, 

" G. Hammond." 


Towards the end of November, 1870, Mr. White seems 
to have been occupying himself with military matters, 
as who did not in that annus niirabilis of battles and 
sieges, victories and defeats ? He had many friends in the 
Prussian Army, and one in particular of great eminence, 
Colonel (now General) Verdy du Vernois, whom he had 
known at Warsaw, and who occasionally wrote to him 
from the King's Headquarters. 

Lord Granville was now Foreign Secretary, and Mr. 
Hammond had just shown him one of Mr. White's 

"He will be very glad," wrote Mr. Hammond, "that 
you should continue to write to me on the same or 
any other matters of interest that may come to your 
knowledge ; for information from outsiders is very often 
valuable! and even more to be relied upon than that 
from headquarters." 

By the beginning of 1871 the Consul at Dantzic had 
so far convinced the Foreign Office of his political ability 
and of his knowledge of the affairs of Eastern Europe, 
that we find him commissioned to undertake a journey 
through Hungary. 

"My dear Sir/' wrote Mr. Hammond, March 8, 1871, 
" I do not think that any particular instructions are 
needed by you during your approaching visit to Hungary. 
You will, of course, pick up all the information you can 
both of a commercial and a political nature, taking 
care, however, not to give your inquiries an official 

"We should, of course, like to know anything you 
can glean respecting the relations between Austria and 
Russia, and the feelings of the Hungarians on the subject ; 
and further, as to aims in regard to the Turkish Danubian 

"You will when at Vienna put Lord Bloomfield in 
possession of all the information that you have succeeded 


in obtaining, and I will write to him to prepare him 
for your appearance. 

In a letter of this period to Mr. Morier about church 
matters in Bavaria, Mr. White writes : 

"Have you any notion or could you find out what 
relations exist between Bishop Reinkens and the Munich 
Old Catholics and the Uniate 1 Bishops in Turkey? I 
have reason to suspect that there are plans at work there 
which may in the future assume political significance.' 1 

The possible effect of the coming together of the Old 
Catholics in Bavaria, and the Uniate Bishops in Turkey, 
was a problem in political chemistry, which it would 
have been interesting to see worked out by the two 
diplomatic experts. Bishop Reinkens and the Uniate 
Bishops equally believed in national churches and service 
in the national tongue. 

Mr. White was much interested just then in the work 
and personality of Bishop Strossmayer, to whom, in a 
letter written ten years later, Mr. Gladstone makes special 
reference when thanking Mr. White for a letter con- 
gratulating him on the fiftieth anniversary of his entry 
into political life. 

"My dear Mr. White," wrote Mr. Gladstone, De- 
cember 13, 1882, "the receipt of your very kind letter on 
this noteworthy day in my political career has given me 
much pleasure, and I thank you sincerely for remembering 
me and for sending me such cordial good wishes, which, I 
assure you, I much value. I have also had the honour 
of a most kind letter from Bishop Strossmayer, whom 
I admire and greatly revere. 

" I remain, 

" Very faithfully yours, 

"W. E. Gladstone." 

1 Greed Uniati, called in English by some writers fl Greek Uniates," 
by others (perhaps more correctly), "United Greeks." Members of 
that Western Section of the Greek Church which accepted, at the 



In August, 1872, Mr. Hammond wrote to Mr. White, 
thanking him for two letters that had recently come to 

"It is easy to understand/ 1 he continued, " how the 
Imperial meeting gives rise to all sorts of speculations. 
But I do not imagine that it will be productive of any 
other results than an interchange of present ideas, to be 
exchanged for others according to the ever-varying phases 
of European politics. The Church Question is much 
more likely to cause convulsion and trouble, and its 
growing up will at all events be curious to watch, 
especially at a time when in the natural course of things 
there may soon be a change in the Papacy." 

On resigning his post, in 1873, Mr. Hammond wrote 
to thank Mr. White for a friendly and complimentary 
letter just received from him. 

" I have always been careful/ 1 he added, " to let the 
Secretary of State see your letters to me, so that he 
might fully appreciate the interest and value of the 
information they contained. Now that I have retired 
from office, my successor, Lord Tenterden, will value 
your letters as I did, and you should communicate with 
him as with me/' 

Lord Tenterden, however, seems to have been a less 
active correspondent than Mr. Hammond, his predecessor ; 
or, possibly, Mr. White had, for the moment, nothing 
more to write concerning German, Austrian, or Hungarian 
affairs. He was using all his influence to get appointed 
to some post in the East, where consuls are less com- 
mercial than political agents ; and his first letter from 
Lord Tenterden instructs him (apparently in answer to 
Mr. White's inquiries on the subject) in the difficult art 

Council of Florence, union with Rome, acknowledging the supremacy 
of the Pope and the double procession of the Holy Ghost, while 
retaining prayers in the vernacular and a married priesthood. 


of drawing bills of exchange. It is addressed to him at 
Belgrade, where he had just arrived in the character of 
Consul-General and Diplomatic Agent. 

rt There is no mystery," writes Lord Tenterden, " about 
drawing the bills, and there are no printed forms. You 
merely draw the bill on Secretary of State for Foreign 
affairs at thirty days' sight, and write to me a separate 
despatch advising your having done so." 

From soon after the Franco-German War until he left 
Dantzic for Belgrade, one of Mr. White's best friends at 
Berlin was the new Ambassador, Lord Odo Russell, 
afterwards Lord Ampthill. 

Towards the end of the war this diplomatist had gone 
to the Royal Headquarters at Versailles to make repre- 
sentations to Count Bismarck in reference to Russia's 
declared intention of disregarding the article in the Treaty 
of Paris, which prevented her (equally with Turkey) from 
building warships on the Black Sea. Prince Gortchakoff, 
when the end of the Franco-German War could already 
be foreseen, and when the helpless position of our 
Crimean ally was only too obvious, insisted on the 
abolition of all restrictions as against Russian warships ; 
and this abrupt violation of a solemn compact neither 
Mr. Gladstone nor Lord Granville could tolerate. 

Mr. Odo Russell was commissioned, therefore, to explain 
to Count Bismarck, with whose knowledge and assent 
this step against England had been taken, that if Russia 
persisted in her declaration the consequence would be war. 

This prospect Count Bismarck was too great a lover 
of peace to view without dismay ; and in the end the 
English Government, far from supporting the representa- 
tions of its agent at Versailles, listened to the Prussian 
statesman in his newly assumed character of peacemaker, 
and consented to enter a conference at which, instead of 


objecting any longer to Russia's pretensions in regard 
to the building of warships on the Black Sea, she acceded 
to them in writing. 

Count Bismarck said on this occasion that Russia would 
have acted more ingeniously had she begun building her 
new warships on the Black Sea, without saying anything 
about it But Gortchakoff desired a great diplomatic 
triumph for himself, and at the same time an historical 
triumph for his country. He had been present in 1856 
at the Paris Conference, and had made a point of not 
appending his signature to the Treaty ; for he had sworn 
to make it the object of his life to undo in that treaty 
the two clauses which told specially against Russia. 
One of them was the clause forbidding Russia to build 
warships on the Black Sea — annulled in 1871 by the 
Conference of London ; the other, the clause which took 
from her the strip of Bessarabia, on the Black Sea, annexed 
by the Treaty of Paris to Moldavia. This last was to 
be effaced in 1878, after the Russio-Turkish War, by the 
treaty of Berlin. 

Although the English Government gave up the clause 
which Russia at a most favourable opportunity had 
denounced, it should in justice to Lord Granville be 
remembered that he made the best of a bad business. 
In dealing at the Conference with the question of the 
Straits he procured the affirmation of the principle that 
while Russia could introduce no warships from the 
Mediterranean into the Black Sea, Turkey was at liberty 
to take in as many as she pleased. Thus with sufficient 
energy and enterprise Turkey might within a short time 
have purchased and introduced into the Black Sea a 
far larger number of warships than Russia during the 
same period could possibly have built Needless to add 
that Turkey did not profit by the opportunity. 


Although Mr. Odo Russell did not succeed — was not 
allowed to succeed — in his diplomatic mission to Count 
Bismarck at Versailles, he made an excellent impression 
on the great statesman, and the Government saw that 
he would for that and other reasons be the best possible 
man to send, after the conclusion of peace, as Ambassador 
to Berlin. 

Mr. White had now his eye fixed on Belgrade, where 
the Consulate was not yet vacant, but might soon 
become so. He had still three years to wait; but the 
time seemed already to have arrived for laying siege to 
the old fortress. He had resolved to occupy the place, 
and had consulted about the matter Lord Odo Russell, 
Sir Robert Morier, and Lord Granville. 

Two months later Lord Odo Russell's uncle, Earl 
Russell, was to attain his eightieth birthday, and Mr. 
White addressed to him on that occasion the following 
congratulatory letter: 

" British Consulate, Dantzic. 
" is August, 1872. 

"My Lord, 

"Next Sunday I believe your Lordship will cele- 
brate your eightieth birthday, and I hope you will kindly 
excuse the liberty I take of transmitting my sincere 
congratulations on so happy a day. 

" It has been your good fortune to attach your name to 
a long succession of constitutional enactments which stand 
out as landmarks of political progress in this century, and 
to see realised in your lifetime many changes at home 
and on the continent of Europe highly favourable to the 
development of civil and religious liberty. You have an 
opportunity of looking back with pride on a life so well 
spent, and during which you have contributed so success- 
fully to the public good, and to the fulfilment of the 
aspirations of your early years. 

u Personally, I owe your Lordship the deepest gratitude 
for the kind and generous manner in which you have 
treated me as my Chief; and as I cannot unfortunately 


make my appearance at the Lodge on Sunday next in 
the circle of your devoted friends and admirers, I am 
desirous of paying you and Lady Russell my respects on 
that memorable day at least in writing. 

" For whatever good I have enjoyed here, I am indebted 
principally to your kindness, and I remain, dear Lord 
Russell, wishing you many happy returns, 

" Yours ever gratefully and most faithfully, 

- W. A. White. 

"The Right Honourable Earl Russell, K.G., &c, &c 


To the above letter Lord Russell replied four days 
afterwards in the following terms : 

" Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park. 

"Aug. 19, 187a. 

"Dear Mr. White, 

" I thank you most heartily for your congratulations 
on my eightieth birthday. Thank God, I am quite well ; 
but at my age life is very uncertain, and a little shake may 
break the machine to pieces. Thank God, too, I have 
been allowed to carry measures aiming at the liberty and 
prosperity of the nation. 

" The Whigs were the guardians of the public liberties 
while the nation was in a pupil state. It has now 
attained its majority, and must take care of its own 
liberties against a Caesar or a Catiline, 

" Ever yours truly, 

M Russell." 

Lord Odo found himself frequently called upon to 
consult Mr. White on commercial questions; and in one 
letter he informs Mr. White that, though he requires 
no consul at Berlin, he has been instructed by Lord 
Granville to offer the post of Consul-General to "Mr. 
Bleichroder " who, he adds, "has graciously accepted 
the unpaid office." 

The Bleichroder referred to was the well-known banker 
formerly of Frankfort, where he enjoyed the friendship of 


Bismarck, then the representative of Prussia at the head- 
quarters of the Germanic confederation. 

Herr Bleichroder rendered an important service to 
Germany and a dis-service to France when, in 1871, 
Bismarck summoned him to Versailles in order to consult 
him on the subject of the war indemnity. The keen-eyed 
financier saw at a glance that the diplomatists who had 
drawn up the treaty had committed an error of consider- 
able importance ; for, in imposing an indemnity payable 
by instalments, they had forgotten to charge interest 
on the balance remaining after each instalment had 
been paid. 

Bismarck thanked him heartily and promised to recom- 
mend him to the notice of the newly created Emperor. 
It had occurred to the Prussian Minister that his friend, 
the banker, would like nothing so much as to place a 
" Von " before his name, and he therefore begged His 
Imperial Majesty to admit him into the ranks of the 
nobility. In making the application Count Bismarck 
pointed out to his sovereign that the postulant, though 
the bearer of no title, was a man of ancient birth ; " for 
your Majesty," he said, "has only to look into his face 
to see that he is a lineal descendant of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob." Thereupon Herr Bleichroder, an excellent 
man and a devoted friend of Bismarck's, was duly 

Some weeks later, after his return to Berlin, Herr 
Von Bleichroder determined to give a party, when not 
possessing numerous acquaintances among the higher 
society of the Prussian capital, he begged an acquaint- 
ance, who "knew every one," to draw him up a list 
of guests; which the influential and highly connected 
friend obligingly did. 

"But we can't have this man," said Herr Von 


Blcichroder when he came to the name of a gentleman 
of distinction which had, nevertheless, no " Von " before it. 
" We can't ask him. He doesn't belong to the nobility ! " 

These anecdotes belong in a way to the present 
biography, for it was from Sir William White that I 
heard them. 

In answer to a most friendly letter from Mr. Morier, 
Mr. White wrote, July, 1874, as follows: 

"Just a few lines to acknowledge your ever-memorable 
epistle of the 23rd. I have destroyed it, as desired, but its 
contents shall remain engraved on my memory as long 
as I retain that valuable action of my brain. 

" I have had a sort of ahnung that something of the 
kind was going on ; but you can imagine what an anxiety 
the perusal of the first part of your letter produced in me. 
I really do not know what to say as regards the step you 
have taken on my behalf. I cannot attempt to thank you, 
for any expression of gratefulness on my part would be 
still wholly inadequate. Your action in this matter was 
an intervention of the most kind and rare species of 

" I had been bracing myself up for a great disappoint- 
ment; and I shall continue to keep my moral condition 
at a point at which it may bear any disappointment in 
store for me. My motto is, Nil dcsperandum. But you 
were perfectly right and justified in asserting as you did 
that a failure now would be tantamount to a breaking of 
backbone as far as my official life is concerned. 

" The F. O.," he afterwards writes, " are not in the habit 
of leaving such a post unoccupied ; it is therefore highly 
probable that it has been offered to my rival, whoever that 
may be. I should not be surprised to hear that it is one 
of the Oriental Secretaries at Constantinople. 

"Somehow or other there are many people — even in 
office— who jump at the most superficial conclusion that 
a knowledge of Turkey and of Semitic languages is a 
qualification for a post on the Lower Danube, whether 
Bucharest or Belgrade. What a fatal delusion I Longworth 
and Green both owed their appointment to this deceptive 
view of the requirements of these two posts. 

" How sad for me to think that all my efforts — nay y 


more, that the kind, affectionate, generous and powerful 
arguments of two such friends as yourself and Lord Odo, 
two giants of our diplomatic service— gigantes magni— 
should fail in setting the matter straight I " 

On February 16, 1875, Lord Odo Russell wrote to ask 
Mr. White, among other things if he knew what impression 
"those remarkable letters on Prussia and the Vatican" 
had made in England. "Their cleverness and power 
strike me," he added ; " but I cannot quite agree. Perhaps 
I do not know the subject so well as the author." 

I may here present a letter, a very lively one, from 
Sir Robert Morier, the author of those very papers on 
Prussia and the Vatican which Lord Odo Russell so 
much admired, without knowing at the time who had 
written them. They were published anonymously in 
Mactnillatis Magazine (1874). 

"My dear White," wrote Morier, Feburary 15, 1875, 
"What in the name of all the devils has made you say 
that you knew from me that I was the author of Vatican 
and Prussia and of the letters to Manning? Surely I 
impressed upon you over and over again the necessity of 
absolute reticetue as regards the authorship. Do please be 
careful. It would be an immense mischief to me ; its 
coming out authentically that I am the author. I know 
many people surmise I am the author, but till one of 
my friends, like you, says he knows I am the author and 
knows it from me y surmises will remain surmises. 

"The 13th is over, and you ought to know about 
yourself. Pray let me know as soon as ever you know 
your fate for certain. Why can't you answer my letter 
and tell me all the news? 

"Try and put people on some other scent as regards 
the authorship. You could say you knew for certain 
it was Countess Leyden, or Malet, or, much better (now 
I come to think of it), Cartwrig/it, who, I really believe, 
did write them. 

"Yours very sincerely, 

"R. B. Morier." 


The letter in which Morier informed his friend that he 

was writing a series of papers on the relations between 

Church and State in Germany is dated " Munich, 

Feburary 21, 1 873," and contains no caution as to 

keeping silence in regard to the authorship. Here is 

the letter: 

"British Ligation, Munich, 

"ai F*b. t 1873. 

"Dear White, 

"I am truly ashamed of myself for having 
shown myself in one of my worst fits of graphophoby 
(I invented the word to christen a disease from which 
I suffer beyond most men) to a man who probably 
was not aware of my constitutional infirmity, and was 
therefore dans son droit if he declared me outside the 
pale of epistolary law. I received your letter and books 
all right. Then came your telegram which I answered ; 
thereby obtaining a momentary rest for my conscience ; 
and then — and then — I didn't write ! And now comes your 
second letter, heaping coals of fire on my unprotected 
head. I much wished, when I telegraphed to you, to add : 
* Come on here, and I will put you up ' ; but it was 
impossible as we had only just got into our house and 
had only one table and two chairs and one room for 
everything. I like Munich very well — principally because 
I have found a charming house outside of it There are 
many subjects of interest, and I cultivate much the 
great Dollinger, who is personally the most delightful 
of gelehrte. Socially I cannot say much for the place. 
It is very petite villi, and a large petite ville is even in 
some respects worse than a small one. 

" I am preparing a set of papers on the conflict between 
Church and State in the new Empire, treated historically 
and anhangend on the movements (Josephinismus, Zebron- 
ianismus, Collegialismus, Territitorinlismus, etc), which im- 
mediately preceded the break up of the Empire, as well 
as the absence of movement which characterised the 
period between 1815 — 1848 and thence to now I Tou 
will wonder at my courage, or, more properly speaking, 
audacity. But one must do something. 

" I am inclined to lay much weight on what Wetherell 
writes to you. He is more careful than any one I ever yet 


met with, never to say more than about 75 per cent less 
than what he means, and would never say a thing of 
this kind unless there was a good nucleus at the bottom. 
Moreover, I convinced myself in England that you were 
appreciated as you ought to be in the right quarters. 

"In haste, 

"Yeurs very truly, 

"R. B. MORIER." 

The letters at this period addressed to Mr. White by 
our minister at Munich bear but little on current 
politics. But everything that Morier wrote was lively, 
clever, and thoughtful ; and among all the letters of his 
that are to be found in the plentiful collection left by 
Sir William White, there is not one that is uninteresting 
or dull. Here are a couple taken almost at random. 

" 28 February, 1875. 

11 My dear White, 

" You can do me a great service, and may be sure 
that I shall be ready to return the like en tents et lieu. 
I want you at your club (Atfunceum, is it not?) to look 
up a file of the Times for 1873 and to find me the 
passage respecting Mr. Gordon's marriage to Mile, de 
Beulwitz — 1>., the marriage of the late envoy at Stuttgart 
to a lady with a wooden leg. I have the passage en long 
et en large on a slip which I cut out at the time, and 
therefore I do not want the passage, but I want the 
date and number of the Times in which the article 
occurs. It was, I am almost certain, in the month of 
June, but possibly it might have been end of May or 
beginning of July. It is headed Act of Declaration of 
Marriage, and was, I think, at the bottom of a left hand 

" I wish you would write me a gossiping letter. Your 
last was a very meagre performance. It seems to me too 
absurd their not telling you about Belgrade, as I don't 
mind telling you now (though you must never say I told 
you) that it has all been settled since I wrote to you in 
August 1 1 

"Yours ever, 

" R. B. Morier " 


" Munich, 
" 29/12/75. 

w My dear White, 

" I have been long exercised in my mind as to the 
way I could repay you the £1 you were so good as to spend 
in grubbing up that Times notice of the Gordon marriage. 
The new Imperial money has come in just a propos, as 
20 marks are as nearly as possible £i 9 and four 5-mark 
notes are very handy things to travel with. Let me know 
when you think of running to Vienna that we may com- 
bine a meeting there. I very much want to see you and 
have a great Oriental talk. I hear you have written a 
splendid general report on Slavs and Slavism. Mind 
you bring it with you if you run up to Vienna. I shall 
be curious to see what the coming year will bring forth 
politically : not a bed of roses, I expect. I wish I could 
feel as sure that the last state of the Suez Canal purchase 
will be as brilliant as the first was to the imagination, 
at least, of poor old Philister Johannes de Bove, or, rather, 
de Tauro, who would so like to feel himself once more 
a fine fellow, and who cannot, with the best will in the 
world, get any of his successive drovers to put him in 
the way of doing so. I have very little faith in the present 
set. If Dizzi was 20 years younger he might perhaps 
have had backbone enough to make something at least 
original out of his Suez shares, but he is stiff in the joints, 
and the others. . . . (Carnarvon at the Colonies always 
excepted, for he has le courage de son opinion). . . . Well, 
we'll see. 

" My essay on Local Government has been very much 
appreciated in Germany (the old story of the prophet in 
and out of his own country), but the result has been a 
disastrous one for me. Holtzendorf thought it so good 
he insisted on having it translated into German, and he 
launched this translation with a flaming preface of his 
own. But alas ! he trusted the translator, and never took 
the precaution of reading the product 

" I knew nothing of the matter ; because though I had 
in a general way told Holtzendorf that I would sanction 
any translation he made himself responsible for, I never 
knew that the matter had been really taken in hand. 
When the work was out and had already been very favour- 
ably reviewed (among others by Bismarck's LeibreptU, 
the M.D.A.), I got a copy, and, on reading it, found the 


most ghastly bit of work that was ever revealed to the eyes 
of an unfortunate author. Not one page without the 
gravest misunderstandings, not a remote conception of 
the subject, not one technical term but was ingeniously 
mistranslated ; in a word poor me exhibited as a complete 
and total fool to a German scientific public. There was 
nothing to do but to buy up the edition, and bring out 
another one corrected — i.e. 9 re-written by the author. This 
has been the Christ-kind with which the Fates have 
bescheert me ; and a blessed time I have had of it I 

" Now, with all manner of good wishes for the new 
year, believe me, 

" Ever yours, 

" R. B. MORIER." 

About this time, when he had left Dantzic and was on 
the point of starting for Belgrade, Mr. White received 
from Mr. Morier a letter asking him, on behalf of Mr. John 
Morley, to write an article for the Fortnigtitly Review on 
Bosnia and the Herzegovina ; where disturbances, first 
arising from troubles with tax-gatherers, were gradually 
assuming the form of an insurrection. 

u I don't wonder," began Morier, " that in your last 
letter you take to cussin* and swearin' and threatenin'. 
In the matter of writing I am given to procrastination, 
but this time it must have appeared beyond the reach 
even of ' was ic/i bester kann ' in that line. However, it 
is all accountable for, and in a very disagreeable way too. 
1st, I did not answer your No. 1 to Dantzic because for 
some reason or other the date of the letter and of its 
reception did not fit, and I reckoned you would have left 
before my letter would reach you. I did not write to 
Belgrade because I did not know when, you would get 
there, as I heard you were going round by Northern 
China. Then, when your two letters came shortly on 
each other to Munich, where one is ordered not to write 
letters (but I meant to indemnify you by a great letter on 
my return)— -then it was that all my miseries began. Two 
or three days after my arrival at Munich from Wildbad 
I was bowled over with a violent gastric attack just short 


of gastric fever. Though it only lasted a few days, I 
was for four weeks absolutely prostrate ; morally, in- 
tellectually, and physically mere pulp. I could hardly 
crawl from my bedroom to the drawing-room, and had to 
be carried downstairs. Then on the top I got a gout 
attack, which keeps me again four weeks in bed ; and then 
intermittent fever. A week ago only I was able to be 
moved here, where I am beginning to pick up, having 
walked ioo yards this morning with comparative impunity. 
You will now, I hope, understand my not writing, and 
also the impossibility we have been in to show any civility 
to Mrs. White. From the ist of July till last Monday I 
have been either in bed or on the sofa, and Mrs. Morier 
has been a sick-nurse. 

"And now for business. I had a letter from John 
Morley — as you know, the editor of the Fortnightly — 
asking me for an article on the Herzegovina and present 
South Slav movement I answered that I had travelled 
over all that country twenty years ago but knew nothing 
of it now, but there was one man in the world who could 
write such an article, and that was you. I had a letter 
by return of post begging me to write to you to ask 
if you would do it, and (to save time) begging you would 
write directly to him (John Morley, Esq., 193, Piccadilly), 
saying whether you would or would not write the article 
or articles in question. In proposing to me to write, he 
said that though it was an almost invariable rule to publish 
the author's name, he would be ready to print my articles 
anonymously. I have no doubt he would do the same 
by you. You must of course be the best judge as to 
whether or not it is desirable you should write on these 
matters just now, even anonymously (knowing how difficult 
it is to remain anonymous), and I consider that under 
no circumstances you should write in any sense what 
would set F. O.S teeth on edge. But without going 
too much into politics, I think an objective, historical, and 
statistical sketch just now might be made, which, while 
remaining quite safe, might be very interesting. At all 
events, I did not wish you to miss the chance of making a 
£10 note (an article I find always acceptable! to say 
nothing of a connection with the Fortnightly which may 
bring in many more. I doubt whether you could master 
the subject in one article (as they must be kept very short), 
and whether less than two or three would suffice. But 

1875] WRITES FOR F. O. ALONE 79 

under all circumstances write at once to Morley telling 
him Yes or No. 

" Yours ever truly, 

« R. B. MORIER." 

The article was never written. Sir William White told 
me of the proposition that had been made to him, adding 
that he could not possibly take advantage of it In the 
first place he was not accustomed to write for the Press 
as Morier was, and he felt nervous about it 

I expressed some astonishment at this, seeing how 
fluently and forcibly he made speeches, not only in 
English, but also in French, German, and Polish. 

The spoken word vanished, he said, but the written 
word remained. Even if the speech was reported the 
speaker was not answerable for the report. The reporter 
might have made a mistake — like the reporter of Mr. 
Hammond's speech, who made him say that Dantzic 
was a federal fortress on the Rhine under the territorial 
jurisdiction of Hesse-Darmstadt. But apart altogether 
from the difficulty of the matter, it would be imprudent 
to write about a burning question so closely affecting 
the country to which he was now accredited. Sooner 
or later the authorship would be found out, and "they" 
didn't like their agents and envoys to be writing in the 
Press. Anything that was worth writing should, according 
to "them," be written for the Foreign Office, and for 
"them" exclusively. 

There is much to be said for the Foreign Office view ; 
and Sir William White was undoubtedly wise in conform- 
ing to it He may have missed the pleasure of influencing 
in a direct and visible manner the public mind ; may 
have missed also a few ten-pound notes. But the reports 
he was constantly addressing to the Foreign Office from 
his post at Dantzic on Church matters in Germany, on 


the relations between Germany and Austria, between 
Austria and Hungary, between Hungary and its Slavonic 
provinces, and on the Slavonic provinces of Turkey, must 
have strengthened his claims for promotion, which the 
publication of these reports in the form of newspaper 
or magazine articles would have weakened and perhaps 

Sir William White's political reports from Dantzic as 
distinguished from his commercial ones were unofficial and 
did not find their way into Blue Books. Nor probably 
did his best from Belgrade, Bucharest, and Constantinople. 

Those better suited to the public eye were, before being 
printed, sent to him, according to custom, for revision ; 
and during the years 1 876 and 1 877 the letters he received 
from the Foreign Office seem to have referred almost ex- 
clusively to the preparation of his reports for publication. 

One official wrote to him saying : 

" We send you your despatches to revise as you wish. 
We have not given many of them for fear of compromising 
you and making it hot for you at Belgrade." 

"Please go carefully through your despatches," wrote 
another, "and say what additions or further omissions 
you propose." And again : " Please telegraph as soon as 
possible any observations, corrections, and omissions you 
wish to have made." 

Without such precautions the publication of diplomatic 
documents would of course be impossible. It was in 
reference to this necessary work of revision that Prince 
Bismarck, asked one day in the Chamber why Prussia 
did not, like England, publish despatches from her am- 
bassadors and envoys abroad, made the following reply : 

" Because, to do so, it would be necessary to double the 
number of the clerks in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs." 



MR. WHITE owed his first opportunity of dis- 
tinguishing himself to the Polish Insurrection of 
1863; and on arriving at Belgrade in September, 1875, 
he again found himself in the midst of armed risings, 
some in actual existence, others in course of preparation. 

At last he had attained the object, or, at least, the 
first object of his great desire : to play an active 
part in Eastern affairs. He had for several years been 
endeavouring to get promotion in the direction of the 
Lower Danube ; and the letters of his correspondents 
in the diplomatic service, from 1871 onward, are full of 
references to this earnest wish of his. 

The Eastern Question, seldom slumbering for very long, 
had begun to reassert itself in 1874; when the wretched 
condition of the peasantry in Bosnia — Christian labourers 
and farmers under Mahometan landowners — was the 
starting-point An agrarian movement had broken out 
nearly twenty years before, in 1857, when there was a 
rising at once against the tax-gatherers of the Turkish 
Government, and the rent-gatherers of the local pro- 
prietors. After being defeated in an engagement with 
Turkish troops, the insurgents crossed the frontier into 
Austria, returning, however, to their homes on the 
proclamation of an amnesty. 

In 1867 troubles of the same character took place in 

81 n 


Bosnia, where at that time the peasantry were the most 
disaffected, because perhaps the most destitute, of all the 
peasant populations in the Christian provinces of Turkey. 
Not that in Bosnia the Christians formed a strong 
element as in the other Slavonic lands of the Balkan 
Peninsula; for here the Slavonian landed proprietors 
had at the time of the conquest accepted Mahometanism 
in order to save their estates. According to some 
statistical tables the population in 1875 was about half 
Christian, half Mahometan, while others gave nine 
hundred thousand Christians to five hundred thousand 

Bosnia, the Herzegovina, and Montenegro being all pro- 
foundedly agitated the excitement could not but spread 
to Servia; and already a certain number of Servian 
volunteers had taken up arms, and hurried across the 
frontier in aid of the Bosnian Insurgents. The formation 
of additional bands was prevented by the Servian 
Government; and Prince Milan conveyed the assurance 
of his pacific intentions both to the Porte and to the 
guaranteeing Powers. 

But the insurgents in Bosnia appealed to the Servians 
for assistance, and the prayer of the petitioners was 
accepted and supported by the Servian assembly. The 
Prince, however, to the injury of his own popularity, 
remained deaf to all entreaties. He nevertheless 
despatched a former Servian Minister, Mr. Christitch, to/ 
Montenegro with a view to an understanding between} 
the two principalities as to what course they should pursue! 
towards the insurgents, towards the Porte, and towards! 
the guaranteeing Powers. 

The decision they at last came to was, that if all 
representations on the part of the great Powers should 
fail, they would themselves address the Porte, and 


recommend the pacification of the insurgent provinces 
by means of an autonomic administration, entrusted for 
Bosnia to Prince Milan of Servia, and for the Herzegovina 
to Prince Nicholas of Montenegro. 

This, in spite of the terms employed, was a demand 
for the cession of the Herzegovina to Montenegro, and 
of Bosnia to Servia ; and Mr. Christitch, sent as Servian 
agent to the Turkish capital, was assured, that if the 
Prince's envoy had come to propose the extension of 
the Servian administration to Bosnia, he would not be 
received. Rebuffed in this manner, Mr. Christitch made 
a last attempt, and submitted to the Divan in writing the 
proposition he had been charged to lay before it 

The Grand Vizier refused to receive it; and this was 
the immediate cause of the Servo-Turkish War. 

Servia took up arms as the advanced guard of Russia. 
The advanced guard of Servia was, before long, to be 
composed of Russian volunteers ; and when Russians and 
Servians had both been defeated by the Turks, Russia 
herself was to appear on the scene. 

This difficult situation was to manifest itself soon after 
Mr. White's arrival at Belgrade. He had now once more 
to do with Russians ; for when Servia had openly taken 
the part of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Insurgents 
against the Sultan, whole cotapanies and battalions of 
Russian volunteers flocked to the Servian capital. 

At Warsaw Mr. White had known the Russians as 
oppressors. Here they arrived in the character of 
liberators. Like the insurgents in Poland, these Russian 
volunteers were of various kinds and actuated by various 
motives ; and even as the mainspring of action in Poland 
had been patriotism, so with the Russians in Servia, it 
was patriotism of a kind ; a desire to carry out Russian 
views, at once imperial and national, together with love of 


adventure, and hope of promotion. For the officers (who 
formed, however, but a small proportion of the volunteers) 
had left the Russian Army with the certainty that they 
would be able to rejoin it when their self-assumed mission 
in Servia had come to an end. 

The Emperor, Alexander II., in a conversation on 
the subject with Lord Augustus Loftus at St Petersburg, 
told him that Russian officers had been allowed to 
go as volunteers to Servia, "in order to throw cold 
water" on the excitement The inevitable effect, how- 
ever, was to increase the excitement Now that some 
thousands of Russian volunteers were taking part in 
the unequal struggle carried on by a small and, of 
itself, helpless Slavonian State, against the Ottoman 
Empire, all Russia was interested in the success of the 

There seemed, however, but small chance of the Bosnian 
troubles leading to a Servo- Turkish War, when, in the 
autumn of 1875, Mr. White came to Belgrade; and, 
apart from the condition of Bosnia, where the action of 
insurgent bands was gradually affecting the neighbouring 
principality, he had to occupy himself in the first place 
with the condition of the Jews in Servia. To this the 
attention of Mr. White's predecessors had been directed 
for many years past ; whenever, indeed, no matter of 
political importance was on hand. An article of the 
Servian constitution declared all the inhabitants of Servia 
to be equal before the law, " except Jews." Yet, strangely 
enough, all the highest offices in the state were open 
to Jews—those very Jews who were denied the most 
ordinary trading rights. So, by way of exemplifying 
the liberality of Servian political institutions, a Jew was 
put up for the Skuptchina and duly elected, in the midst 
of the negotiations that were being carried on with the 


Western Powers on the subject of the general position 
of Jews in Servia. 

" A Jew has been made a member of the Skuptchina I " 
cried the Servians. "Scarcely more than a quarter of 
a century has passed since the English Parliament refused 
to receive a Rothschild into its body after he had been 
elected again and again by his fellow citizens. We have 
done ourselves the honour to choose as a member 
of the Skuptchina a real live Jew. What more do 
you want?" 

But the Western Powers wanted more still. They 
thought that besides taking part in the legislation of 
the country the Jews ought to enjoy the right, so dear 
to them, of buying and selling. 

The representations made to the diplomatic agents in 
Servia and Roumania on the subject of Jewish disabilities 
came to them, of course, from the Foreign Office ; while 
the Foreign Office acted on communications received 
from various Jewish societies. Examples no doubt of 
injustice and ill-treatment were often correctly cited. But 
it is equally certain that some of the alleged cases of 
persecution were pure inventions. A picture, for instance, 
was published in a French pictorial paper (Le Monde 
Illuslrf) of a razzia said to have been executed upon the 
Jews at J assy, the chief town of Moldavia, of which no 
one at J assy had ever heard ; while at a later period a 
Jewish Member of Parliament, Sir John Simon, made the 
fantastic declaration in the House of Commons that " every 
atrocity committed in Bulgaria upon Christians had been 
perpetrated in Roumania upon Jews." 

Attempts to introduce into a country, through the 
pressure of foreign powerS, legislative changes which 
the Government of that country is unwilling to accept 
can scarcely be attended with success. Interference with 


Russia in regard to the affairs of Poland was bitterly 
resented in 1863, as in 1830; and nothing in either case 
came of it but increased activity towards bringing the 
insurrection to an end ; an activity which, if the inter- 
vening powers had been in earnest, and the Power 
intervened against weak, might easily have degenerated 
into something worse. 

To give some idea of the persistency with which the 
Israelitish Alliance carried on its species of crusade against 
Christians accused of persecution, it may be mentioned, 
that when in 1874, just before Mr. White's arrival at 
Belgrade, Prince Charles of Roumania paid a visit to 
Queen Victoria at Windsor, Sir Francis Goldsmid lost no 
time in asking Lord Derby to bring His Highness to book 
on the subject of the Jews in Roumania ; " who must 
be better treated," said Sir Francis, "if Roumania is 
to be looked upon as a civilised power. 11 Lord Derby, 
however, excused himself from carrying out Sir Francis 
Gold sm id's request 

The Ambassador of England at Constantinople was in 
like manner importuned to make representations to the 
Prince of Servia in favour of the Jews, when His Highness 
was on a visit to the Sultan. 

Apart from other objections, neither of the two Princes 
to whom the Israelitish Alliance wished to appeal could 
personally have done the least thing towards changing 
his country's laws in regard to the Jews. If, as their 
co-religionaries in other countries alleged, the Jews were 
ill-treated in Servia and Roumania, why, asked Servians 
and Roumanians, did they flock to these countries in 
such large numbers from Galicia, the Kingdom of Poland, 
and Russia? They met with no encouragement, they 
were not invited, they were turned back from the frontier 
when their passports were not] in order; and if, as often 


happened, they eluded the vigilance of the frontier guard 
and without passports and also without the means of 
subsistence wandered into Roumania, then they were 
arrested as soon as possible and sent across the border 
towards the country from whence they had come. In 
these last cases it was not because they were Jews that 
they were so inhospitably received, but because they 
were vagabonds ; Christian vagabonds being treated in 
precisely the same manner. As to refusing to admit 
destitute foreigners, was not this done by other govern- 
ments — as by the government, of the United States 
and of our own Australian Colonies ? 

Not content with working through its own agents, 
the Foreign Office once went so far as to instruct Lord 
Augustus Loftus at Berlin to call the attention of Prince 
Bismarck to the disabilities weighing upon the Jews 
in Servia. 

Sir Andrew Buchanan at St Petersburg was directed 
in like manner to. bring the matter to the notice of Prince 
Gortchakoff, who, hearing (apparently for the first time) 
of the unfortunate position of the Jews in Servia, replied 
that he would cause inquiries to be made. He promised, 
also, to write to General Ignatieff, the Russian Ambassador 
at Constantinople. But, according to his own personal 
belief (he added),] the restrictions of which the Jews in 
Servia complained were more to be attributed "to a 
desire to prevent the practices by which Jewish usurers 
and dealers in spirits exercised a demoralising effect on 
the peasantry than to any religious fanaticism/ 1 

On another occasion, when addressed by Lord Augustus 
Loftus on the subject of the Jews in Servia and Roumania, 
Prince Gortchakoff protested 'that on the part of Russians 
no ill feeling whatever was entertained towards Jews ; 
and he mentioned with grave humour that only the 


week before Russian decorations had been given to two 
members of the Rothschild family ! 

No such activity on the * part of our Foreign Office 
had ever been shown on behalf of the Eastern Christians 
as was now exhibited in favour of the Servian and 
Roumanian Jews. Not only were foreign governments 
attacked on the subject in their own capitals, but foreign 
ambassadors were similarly treated in London. Thus 
Lord Granville, as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had a 
long talk on the subject with the Austro-Hungarian 
Ambassador, Count Beust ; his lordship complaining that 
juries in Servia and Roumania would not convict on 
the evidence of a Jew ; whereas a Jewish prisoner, what- 
ever he might be accused of, was tolerably sure to be 
found guilty. 

The Count replied that the only remedy for this was 
to abolish trial by jury. Lord Granville suggested that 
His Excellency probably meant abolition of the jury 
system in cases where Israelites were concerned? The 
Ambassador, however, thought this might seem " invidious," 
and repeated his suggestion in its original form. 

Lord Granville thereupon observed that Her Majesty's 
Government "would not be supported by public opinion 
in this country if it proposed the abolition of trial by 
jury in all criminal cases. . . . There were certain persons 
who thought it might be advisable in civil cases, but 
their opinion had not been adopted ; while as regarded 
criminal cases, even in Ireland, where it was often 
difficult to obtain convictions in very flagrant cases, Her 
Majesty's Government had not proposed any such 

This conversation between Lord Granville and Count 
Beust took place in July, 1872. Within ten years the 
Government, of which Lord Granville was a prominent 


member, proposed and carried the Bill for the " suspension 
of trial by jury in Ireland," the jury being replaced 
by judges. 

In the end neither Servia nor Roumania was called 
upon to abolish trial by jury — not even in cases where 
Jews were concerned. 

Soon after Mr. White's arrival in Belgrade he received 
through the Foreign Office a copy of a letter from the 
Vice-President of the Anglo-Jewish Association on the 
subject of the reforms in favour of Christians, which it was 
hoped would soon be introduced into the Turkish Empire. 

"As the time appears opportune," began the letter, 
" for remedying the serious grievances of the large Jewish 
population in the Turkish dominion, we, members of the 
council of the Anglo- Jewish Association, beg leave to 
address your lordship [Lord Derby] in reference to this 
important subject. 

"We are especially induced to submit this matter to 
your lordship's kind consideration in consequence of the 
prevailing rumour that Her Majesty's Government intend 
to urge upon the Government of His Imperial Majesty, 
the Sultan, the concession of such reforms as would 
remove the several disabilities under which the Christian 
subjects of the Porte are labouring. The council of the 
Anglo-Jewish Association would earnestly solicit your 
lordship at this juncture to bear in mind the claims of 
the Jewish inhabitants of the Turkish Empire, and would 
beg you to include the Jewish people in any representation 
that may be made to the Porte with regard to a removal 
of these laws, the operation of which presses upon all 
non-Mahometans, and in many instances with a special 
severity on the Jewish community." 

Mr. White informed the Anglo-Jewish Association in 
reply that the Jewish population would benefit equally 
with the Christian by the removal of any disabilities 
under which the non-Mussulman population had hitherto 
laboured ; and that although in most countries it had 



been the custom to speak of the "Mahometan and 
Christian " populations, the terms employed by the Porte 
in its official documents were "Mussulmans and non- 
Mussulmans " ; these terms being used in the new 
regulations issued by the Porte respecting the acquisition 
of land, " which would apply to Jews exactly in the same 
way as to Christians." 

When not occupied with the condition of the Jews 
(whose demand, as defined by Sir Robert Morier, was 
11 to have the rite of circumcision placed on an equality 
with the rite of baptism "), Mr. White had to devote his 
attention to all kinds of projects for the solution of the 
Eastern Question ; the one which at that time found most 
favour with Servian politicians being the gradual replace! 
ment of European Turkey by three independent Christian 
states — Roumanian, Servo-Bulgarian, and Greek. Ther( 
would, of course, be all kinds of difficulties in connection 
with the frontiers of the new states ; which were to 
decided according to some by ethnological, according t< 
others by geographical considerations. 

Nor were the various theorists agreed, either as to theic 
geography or their ethnology. In a general way, howeverl 
the idea of three independent Christian States, with! 
a military and political bond between them, was the* 
favourite one of the moment ; and it was afterwards 
adopted in a very practical manner by the diplomacy of 
the United States, which sent to these parts a very distin- 
guished man, the late Eugene Schuyler (previously Consul 
at Moscow and afterwards Secretary of Legation at St. 
Petersburg), with instructions to reside in turn at Athens, 
Belgrade, and Bucharest. Among the claimants of the 
Turkish inheritance, Greece, Servia, and Roumania were, 
in addition to other recommendations, the only States 
that possessed each a university. 


The future desired for the Balkan States by General 
Tchernaieff, who was soon to appear on the scene as 
Commander of the Russian volunteers in Servia and of 
the Servian Army, was naturally of a different character. 
In conversation with a correspondent of the Times tt 
(October 31, 1876), he declared himself in favour of! 
" independent Slavonic Principalities, forming a kind^ 
of loose confederation under Russian influence." One ( 
large Slavonic State south of the Danube he did not 
desire ; at least, not an independent one. 

Another part of General TchernaiefFs scheme, put 
forward, as he frankly admitted, in order to gain the 
approval and support of England, was that the tributes, 
payable to Turkey should be continued by the different! 
States under their new constitution, and that these tributes 
should be used for payment of the interest on the Turkish 
loans, taken up, for the most part, by English subscribers. 

It was a little late for the Russian General's financial 
proposal to be duly effective. Turkey already meditated 
repudiation, and at the beginning of October, 1876, itj 
was officially announced that, for five years to come, shel 
had resolved to pay only half her debt charges in cash ; I 
a proclamation which at once dissolved the whole fabric ■ 
of Turkish credit. 

In one of his private letters, written soon after his 
arrival at Belgrade, Mr. White calls attention to the fact 
that just as for the Poles there are two Polands— the 
so-called " congress kingdom" formed in 1815 at Vienna, 
and the ancient Poland partitioned at the end of the 
eighteenth century— so for the Servians there are two 
Servias : — Servia within its actual political limits, and the 
ancient Servia, which at one time included nearly the whole 
of the Balkan Peninsula. 

The new Servia looked forward to by the "YoUth" 



society or " Omladina," corresponded nearly enough with ! 
the Servia of the Middle Ages. This new Servia, 
however, was, according to the views of the " Omladina," ! 


to be formed not merely on an historical, but on a positive \ 
ethnological basis. It was to be a State in which the ) 
majority of the population would belong to the same } 
Servian or South Slavonic race, and would speak with \ 
but slight variations the same Servian language. 

For between the various parts of ancient Servia, 
— between the Servia of the present day, Bosnia, the 
Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the whole of Austrian 
Croatia — what in the days of the Schleswig-Holstein 
Question used to be called a " nexus social is/' exists. It 
has been said, too, that the different lands had, and 
of course have still, a common literature — that literature 
of love-songs and heroic ballads which flourishes in all 
Slavonian countries. When a certain writer, bearing 
the un-euphonious name of " Wuk," who had the literary 
unity of Servia much at heart, undertook for the first 
time the task of collecting Servian songs of every 
description, he found that they had their origin equally 
in Servia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. M One of the 
rhapsodists brought to the court of Prince Milosch for 
the collector's benefit was," says a writer on this subject, 
" a woodcutter and robber from Servia ; a very excellent 
and honest man for a robber. A second was a Bosnian 
brigand, old and covered with wounds, who would not 
recite until he had been made half drunk, and who, 
when he had once begun, could not be prevailed upon 
to stop. A third was a Montenegrin bandit who was 
in prison for killing a witch." 

They were all Servians, however, by language, and 
by a common poetical and national sentiment ; and it 
is interesting to note that this fact was established without 



political motive in the year 1820, when no one was 
dreaming of the " Omladina " or of the Servian revival. 

The ambitious programme of the "Omladina" was 
rudely interfered with at the settlement of Berlin by 
the assignment of Bosnia and the Herzegovina to Austria, 
and by the erection of the Bulgarian country into a 
separate principality ; while seven years after the Berlin 
Conference the Bulgaria and Servia, which were to have 
been bound together within the frontiers of one great 
Servian state, entered upon a war between themselves. 
So in regard to all Slavonian and Pan-Slavonian 
projects. Ethnical and linguistic arguments are worth 
nothing in opposition to political reasons and the ultima 
ratio regutn. 

The latest re-arrangement of the Balkan States (1901) 
includes two separate groups, with Roumania and Greece 
in one, and Servia and Bulgaria in the other ; the 
latter a Slavonian, the former an anti-Slavonian, league. 

Sir William White took particular interest not only 
in the politics, but in the legends and historical associa- 
tions of Servia ; and without entertaining any very 
vivid admiration for the Turks, was indignant when, 
during his residence at Belgrade, some ultra-patriotic, 
utterly barbarous Servians levelled to the earth the 
tomb of Kara Mustapha, the unfortunate Pasha who, in 
1683, commanded the Turkish forces before Vienna. 

The news of the defeat reached Constantinople long 
before Kara Mustapha, defending himself as he retired, 
arrived at Belgrade. He had scarcely entered the city 
when he was waited upon by an emissary from the 
Sultan. He at once understood the object of the visit. 
Asking for five minutes' grace, he knelt down on a piece 
of carpet, said his prayers, and then submitted his neck 
to the bow-string. 



IT has been seen that at the time of Mr. White's arrival 
in Servia there were several favourite solutions of 
the Eastern Question in its application to the Balkan 
Peninsula. There were also two favourite explanations 
of the constant risings of Christian subjects against the 
Turkish Government According to one view, the caus< 
of the insurrections was Turkish oppression ; accordinj 
to the other instigation on the part of native revolutionai 
committees backed up by Russia, and especially by th< 
Slavonic societies of St Petersburg and Moscow. 

It is quite certain that when the Russians re-armed 
a large portion of their infantry in 1863, the discarded 
weapons were sent as a present to the Servians. General 
Tchernaicff spoke to me personally of this " friendship's 
offering " on the part of Russia to her dependent Slavonic 
relatives as quite a natural thing, and of course saw 
nothing discreditable in it. Lord Palmerston, to whom 
the bills of lading had somehow been forwarded just after 
the despatch of the arms by train from St. Petersburg, 
took a different view of the matter and expressed it with 
much force in a letter to Baron Brunnow. 

That the obsolete Russian arms were sent to Servia 
in order that they might some day be used against 
the Turks can scarcely be doubted ; but the receipt of 
the weapons had no effect in stimulating the recipients 



to immediate action. There was a show of insurrection 
in 1866. But the Servians made no use of the Russian 
muskets until nearly thirteen years after their arrival ; 
by which time they must have been considerably out 
of date and more likely to lead their bearers to destruc- 
tion than to enable them to destroy their enemies. 
General Tchernaieff, an honest and ingenuous man,] 
made no secret of the fact that on entering Servia he I 
took with him a stock of arms for distribution among* 
the Bulgarian villages on the Servian frontier. The 
terrified inhabitants, however, after receiving them carried 
them back to their donors, awestruck by the recent 
massacres — of which Tchernaieff had no knowledge at 
the time. They feared lest the possession of arms, which 
they were afraid to use, might be counted against them 
and bring upon them and their families indiscriminate 

The arrival of General Tchernaieff at Belgrade caused 
the greatest excitement throughout Europe ; and every 
one interested in the Eastern Question came to the 
conclusion that he and his volunteers were the advanced 
guard of a Russian Army marching to the assistance of the 
Servians. So in a certain sense they were. But they 
were genuine volunteers, and in taking command of them 
Tchernaieff was acting on his own responsibility without 
authority and really in opposition to it. 

Particularly instructed to find out all he could about 
TchernaiefTs Russians, Mr. White reported that of the 
men, some had only just quitted the Russian Army ; but 
that others were fully retired soldiers, and others, again, 
enthusiastic, enterprising civilians. The officers, however, 
had in nearly all cases quitted the Russian Army expressly 
with a view to Servia, and apparently on the understanding 
that they might rejoin their regiments after the war. The 

96 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

Emperor Alexander's words to Lord Augustus Loftus 
on this subject have already been referred to. He had 
allowed his officers, said His Majesty, to retire from 
the army arid go to Servia, pour jeter dt f'eau froide ; 
though, if a figurative expression was to be used, " by 
way of opening a safety valve" would perhaps have 
been a more suitable one. 

One strange thing mentioned by Mr. White, and even 
now not generally known, is^jhat nut of^thrgc .hypdred 
of TchernaicffV officers, one hyncjred were Germans; rnen> 

no_doubt,_whq had acquired Jbe^hahitpL fighting- in- the 
Franco-German War, and whose time hung heavy on their 
hands when, after the making of peace, they retired into 
private life. 

Many persons have supposed, by reason of his frequent 
contests with M. Nelidoff at Constantinople, that Sir 
William White was a constant enemy of the Russians. If 
so, he was a most candid, a most truthful foe. His 
reports about the Russians in Servia are nearly all to their 
advantage. Into the question *>( their right to be in the 
country for war purposes he does not enter, but he asserts 
positively that they have not been sent by She Russian 
Government They had come of their own accord ; 
partly perhaps from love of adventure, chiefly from 

After a brilliant career in Central Asia, Tchemaicff, 
who had taken too many cities, and annexed too much 
territory to suit at that moment the official .programme 
of the Russian Government, was presented, in acknow- 
ledgment of his military merits, with a sword of gold, 
and for political reasons was placed on the retired list. 
A series of expectations and disappointments having at 
last left him without hope of further employment in the 
Army, he became a militant journalist, and attacked the 


minister of war in the columns of the Russian World. 
Three other officers, Panslavists like himself, belonged 
to the newspaper staff of which Tchernaieff was chief. 
One was Colonel Komaroff, who afterwards acted in 
Servia as chief of TchernaiefFs staff in a military sense ; 
another, Colonel Monteverde whom Tchernaieff despatched 
as military correspondent to the Herzegovina ; and a 
third, General Fadeieff, who in a vigorously written 
pamphlet had set forth the famous thesis that the! 
Russian road to Constantinople lies through Vienna — I 
now a difficult path in face of the triple alliance. 

Tchernaieff wished to go himself to the Herzegovina. 
But the Russian Government looked with disfavour on 
the idea ; and he had to content himself with opening at 
his newspaper office a subscription on behalf of the 
Herzegovinians and making an appeal in their favour to 
the Slav committee of Moscow, which numbered him 
among its members. 

When, however, it became evident that Servia was \ 
going to war, Tchernaieff could no longer restrain himself; » 
and he at once hurried towards the scene of action. At 
Bucharest, Giurgevo, and Galatz he found Bulgarian 
committees, their members consisting chiefly of persons 
who had left Bulgaria and thriven in Roumania. They 
all looked forward to a general insurrection in Bulgaria ; 
and the committees assured Tchernaieff that they had 
bought up all the arms that could be purchased in 
Roumania. Bulgarians who were officers in the Russian 
Army quitted that service to join the projected insurrection 
of which the Russian papers were full. About two i 
thousand Bulgarians, mostly peasants, were being made ( 
into soldiers in Roumania, under the command of! 
Bulgarian officers from Russia and leaders who had ' 
taken part in the Bulgarian insurrection of 1867. 


98 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

" TchernaiefFs belief," said Mr. Archibald Forbes in 
a highly interesting sketch of the Russian general, which 
he was kind enough to write for me, " is that the Turks, 
becoming aware that an insurrection was being organised, 
anticipated its outbreak by the sweepingly effective 
method of leaving nobody alive to carry out his intention 
of becoming an insurgent That does not disguise the 
fact that a general rising of the Bulgarians was in course 
of organisation." 

So far, however, was Bulgaria removed from the great 
lines of European communication, that no news of the 
massacres had reached Tchernaieff when, in the month of 
June, he entered Servia. Nor had the Russian general 
heard of them when on July 1, he invaded Bulgaria, 
bent on provoking a Bulgarian insurrection on his own 

One man at least in Servia had received news of the 
Bulgarian rising ; for Sir Henry Elliot had written to 
Mr. White about it on May 26. But it was not news 
that the English diplomatic agent was likely to put 
into general circulation. 

If Tchernaieff had invaded Bulgaria on May 1, 
instead of July 1, — before, instead of long after, the 
massacres, which took place in the middle of May — his 
daring project might have had some chance of success ; 
though he never could have realised his dream of 
penetrating to Constantinople at the head of an improvised 
army of Servians and Bulgarians — not even with some 
thousands of Russian volunteers to stiffen the invading 

He felt confident, however, that just as Servia had 
taken the field on behalf of the South Slavonians, so in 
the end Russia would take the field as leader of Slavonians 
in general 

At last came Djunis, when the attitude of a few 


thousand Russian volunteers showed that whatever the 
head and front might be, the backbone of the Slavonian 
movement against Turkey was indeed Russia. After 
Djunis Alexander II. appeared on the scene and declared 
that there must be peace and some sort of beneficial 
arrangement for the defeated ones, or Russia would 
declare war. 

It was in May, 1876, that Mr. White's attention was 
first diverted from the condition of the Servian Jews, 
who theoretically were being persecuted, to that of the 
Bulgarian Christians who as a matter of fact were being 

On May 26, 1876, the subjoined letter was addressed 
by Sir Henry Elliot at Therapia to Mr. White at Belgrade. 
Sir Henry had previously sent a similar one to the 
Foreign Office. He already knew that the Bulgarian 
attempt at insurrection had been suppressed, and felt 
sure, from irregular troops having been employed, that 
it had been suppressed with much cruelty ; against which 
he lost no time in making an energetic protest 

"My dear Mr. White," the letter began, "the 
accounts from your parts are not calculated to inspire 
much confidence ; and the whole state of this country 
is such that the people are always asking what is to 
happen next The impression not only from Turkish, 
but from impartial sources is that nothing will come of 
the Bulgarian movement. The Russian Ambassador 
declares that there is nothing political in it ; but nothing 
is more certain than that there were ample warnings 
(neglected by the Turks) of a movement about to take 
place, organised from * abroad. Russian roubles are 
circulating in unusual quantities : but equally good in- 
formants differ in opinion as to the quarter from whence 
they come. The common belief is that they are sent 
by the Committees in Russia ; but some are under the 
impression that this is not the case, and that the money 
comes from wealthy Bulgarians settled in Odessa and 
other Russian towns. 

ioo SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

" The distinction is not perhaps a very important one. 

"The Russian Consul at Adrianople and the Vice- 
Consul at Philippopolis have both come here : the popular 
agitation against them being so great that they did not, 
I imagine, feel themselves in safety. The latter is a 
Bulgarian long known to have been an agent of the 
Committees; and one of his brothers is at this moment 
said to be in arms among the insurgents. 

"There is no excuse for the measures adopted by the 
Turks in arming Bashi Bazouks, Circassians and gipsies, 
whose outrages are driving peaceful villagers to desperation 
and revolt I am doing what I can to have this put a 
stop to. 1 

"You may have received alarming accounts of the 
dangers which are supposed to threaten the Christians 
here. But although there was an extreme panic, people 
are now satisfied that the movement was wholly political 
and directed against the Government, without a vestige 
of hostility against the Christians. Indeed, the harmony 
existing between the two religions at this moment is one 
of the most striking features in the present strange 
position. But in the provinces this is different ; and 
things might take a turn which would place them in 
deadly hostility. 

" I hope that Servia will continue to be convinced, as 
you say she is, that it is too late for her to move. But 
if she does move she will be met with greater energ> 
than may perhaps be expected considering the general 
embarrassments by which Turkey is at this moment 

Sir Henry Elliot wrote as follows to Mr. White on 
June 29 : 

"I have written to Tenterden to say that you must 
be worked off your legs and ought to have help. 

" Your previsions appear about to be realised ; for we 
are expecting every moment to hear of Servia and 
Montenegro passing the frontiers. 

1 This passage, written just four weeks before news of the outrages 
reached the English public, shows that Sir Henry Elliot was well in- 
formed from the beginning as to the excesses with which the Bulgarian 
movement was being crushed and that he at once did his best to bring 
them to an end. 


" I quite agree in all you say of the feelings which will 
be caused throughout Europe through the excesses sure 
to be committed by the Bashi Bazouks ; but what can 
be done ? In a mountainous country irregulars may be 
of more service or as much so as regulars ; and in the 
face of such an utterly unprovoked attack the Turks will 
retaliate with every instrument within their reach. 

"It is difficult to believe that the Servians could calmly 

Elay such an apparently desperate game unless they had 
etter reasons than we are aware of for counting upon 
some powerful assistance/' 

The anticipations entertained by Sir Henry Elliot and 
Mr. White as to the indignation that would be caused 
" in England and in Europe generally " by news of the 
outrages committed by the Turkish irregular troops were 
fully realised — at least in England ; for " Europe 
generally" was much less agitated by the intelligence. 

The information, however, received by the English 
Government from its Ambassador at Constantinople was 
kept back, in the evident hope that the horrible affair 
would perhaps blow over and that the "Bulgarian 
movement " with its immediate consequences might be 
regarded as already at an end. 

It was not until some weeks later (June 23) that light 
was thrown on the subject by the Constantinople corres- 
pondent of the Daily News ; and it was on June 26, one 
month after the date of Sir Henry Elliot's letter on the 
subject to Mr. White, that the matter was first mentioned 
in the House of Commons ; when Mr. Disraeli declared 
that, compared with the official accounts received, the 
reports of the Daily News correspondent seemed greatly 

At last, when the horrible truth became known, it was 
assumed by many that Sir Henry Elliot had not kept 
his Government properly informed, and, worse still, that 
he looked upon the outrages committed by the Bashi 

io2 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

Bazouks, gipsies, and Circassians, if not with tolerance 
at least without strong condemnation. Sir Henry Elliot, 
however, had done his duty from the first 

At last the attacks made upon him became so violent 
that the Ambassador was forced to defend himself; and 
he wrote in one of his despatches, when from his habitual 
calmness he had been goaded into anger, that England 
in accepting Turkey as an ally knew that she was 
binding herself to a semi-civilised state, and that her 
policy once decided upon had to be maintained, whether 
her ally massacred ten, twenty, or thirty thousand 

Had not the Turks, indeed, massacred Christians in 
Scio and Syria long before the days of the Bulgarian 
atrocities — just as they massacred Christians by tens 
of thousands in Armenia twenty years afterwards ? 

After a long delay Sir Henry Elliot on July 19 sent 
to Bulgaria Mr. Baring, a member of his embassy, who, 
accompanied by his father-in-law, Mr. Guarracino, went 
to Adrianople, Philippopolis, and Batak, where the most 
horrible of all the massacres had been committed, to 
report fully both as to the rising and the atrocities 
perpetrated in quelling it. Nothing could exceed the 
cruelties, the indignities, the horrors related by Mr. 
Baring ; the only important point in which his narrative 
differed from that of previous correspondents being in 
regard to the significance and magnitude of the insur- 
rection by which the massacres had been provoked. 
There had really been a rising, accompanied by violence 
and bloodshed. 

In an introductory letter, enclosing Mr. Baring's report, 
Sir Henry Elliot admitted that the cruelties fully justified 
the indignation they had called forth; but he added 
that the number of victims which at one time had been 


estimated at sixty thousand, and afterwards thirty 
thousand, had fortunately been exaggerated. Mr. Baring 
had heard them calculated at figures varying from 
eighteen hundred to three hundred thousand. By careful 
inquiry he concluded that about twelve thousand had been 
massacred at Philippopolis alone. The insurrection had 
been planned by a number of schoolmasters and priests ; 
and, to encourage the rising, those who hesitated were 
assured that a Russian Army in support of the movement 
was already on the march and would soon cross the 

"The schoolmasters," said Mr. Baring's report, "are 
men who have many of them been educated in Russia. 
They have returned to their homes with a smattering 
of education and a mass of ideas respecting Panslavism 
in their heads. The plan was as follows : To destroy 
as much of the railway as possible, to burn the rolling- 
stock, to set fire to Adrianople in a hundred, and to 
Philippopolis in sixty places, and also to burn Sofia 
and a number of villages; to attack the Turkish and 
mixed villages and to kill all Mussulmans who resisted, 
and take their property. . . . The rising to be joint 
and simultaneous ; such Bulgarians as refused to join 
the insurgents, to be forced into it and their villages burnt" 

Formidable, however, as the insurrection may have 
been in design, it possessed no military importance, and 
at the first appearance of the regular troops collapsed. 

Mr. White knew nothing of the Bulgarian massacres 
beyond what had reached him through Constantinople 
in Sir Henry Elliot's letters and afterwards through 
the English newspapers. But massacre was in the 
air, the word "atrocities" was on every one's lips, and 
Mr. White, like all the British agents in the Balkan 
Peninsula, was now instructed to send whatever informa- 
tion he could obtain as to outrages committed by Turks 
upon Slavonians, or by Slavonians upon Turks. 

104 SERVIA, 1876. rCh. VI 

This inquiry was extended later on to the conduct 
of Russians and Turks in action and immediately 
afterwards; the promoters of the inquiry in this case 
being Russian generals whose indignation had been 
roused by baseless charges brought in the vaguest manner 
against the Russian troops. Colonel Wellesley, English 
military attach^ at St. Petersburg, who was accompany- 
ing the Russian Army in an official character, thought 
his own negative information as to the acts charged 
against the Russians insufficient ; and he appealed there- 
fore to some of the principal correspondents who had 
been more at the front. Thereupon, a paper was 
signed by the late Colonel Charles Brackenbury, military 
correspondent of the Tiptes, and by the correspondents 
of Le Temps, and other trustworthy representatives of the 
foreign Press, testifying that at the end of a battle they 
had seen on the Russian side the Turkish wounded 
attended with every care by Russian surgeons, but 
on the Turkish side Russian corpses mutilated and 

The examples of revolting cruelty and barbarous mutila- 
tion which had come within Mr. White's notice had all 
been committed by Turks upon Servians. 

At one time, the whole Consular service in the Slavonian 
provinces of the Balkan Peninsula was put into commotion 
by the account which Canon Liddon and the Rev. Malcolm 
MacColl published of an impalement they believed them- 
selves to have seen on the banks of the river Save. 
The activity of our agents in regard to this matter 
extended even to Pesth, where Mr. Harriss Gastrell called 
attention to the fact that of the hundreds of persons 
travelling by steamer and passing to and fro by other 
means, close to the spot where the outrage was said to 
have been committed, not one had seen anything of it 


He added, however, that whether it happened or not, 
it was the sort of thing that might well have occurred. 

Bishop Strossmayer, consulted on the subject, lost his 
temper and said it was ridiculous to trouble him about 
one isolated act of barbarity, which the Turks might, or 
might not have committed, when in so many massacres 
they had perpetrated them by tens of thousands. 

Scio, Syria, Bulgaria Armenia are indeed the names 
associated with the most characteristic exploits of the 
Turks during the last three-quarters of a century. 

The public mind was over-excited at the time on the 
subject of massacres, and all kinds of " atrocities " ; and 
the question of impalement or non-impalement was dis- 
cussed by some as though torture and death by this 
horrible means had never been heard of in Turkey. In 
justice to the Turks, it must be said that they by no means 
reserved this cruel punishment for Christian victims. 
Moltke, when in 1 839 he was attached as Adviser to the 
Turkish Army sent against the Egyptians, saved by his 
own personal intercession a party of Turkish robbers from 
being impaled. 

The practice, too, was common at the beginning of 
the century in Egypt ; where the French under Napoleon 
impaled the assassin of General Kteber. For French 
and English still adopt (at least for special occasions) 
the favourite punishments of the people they subjugate. 

It must not be supposed that the Turks had not on 
their side well-founded, fully authenticated complaints 
to make of cruelty and outrage on the part of Russians 
and Bulgarians. The following statement as to what 
took place in Bulgaria after the entry into that region 
of the Russian troops was signed by the correspondents 
of the Manchester Guardian, Koelnische Zeitung, Standard, 
Frankfurter Zeitung, Journal des Dtbats, Morning Post % 

io6 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch. VI 

Ripublique Franfaise, Pester Lloyd, Wiener Tagblatt, 
Illustrated London News, Neue Freie Presse, Times, Morning 
Advertiser, New York Herald, Scotsman, Graphic, Wiener 
Vorstadt Zeitung, Daily Telegraph, and Manchester Ex- 
aminer : 

"The undersigned representatives of the foreign Press 
assembled at Schumla consider it their duty to record 
under their own signatures the substance of the accounts 
which they have sent separately to their journals of the 
acts of inhumanity committed in Bulgaria against the 
inoffensive Mussulman population. They declare that 
they saw with their own eyes and interrogated at Schumla 
children, women, and old men wounded by lance thrusts 
and sabrecuts, without speaking of wounds from fire-arms 
which might be attributed to the chances of legitimate 
warfare. These victims give horrible accounts of the 
treatment inflicted by the Russian troops, and sometimes 
also by the Bulgarians on the Mussulman fugitives. 
According to their declarations, the Mussulman population 
of several villages was entirely massacred, either on the 
roads or in the villages given up to pillage. Every day 
fresh victims come in. The undersigned affirm that the 
women and children are the most numerous among these 
victims, and that most of the wounds are from the lance. 
Schumla, 20 July, 1 877." 

The names of the correspondents follow. 

The despatches published in Blue Books between the 
years 1876 and 1879 on the subject of cruelties committed 
by Turks upon Bulgarians, Servians and Russians, and 
by Servians, Russians and Bulgarians upon Turks, would, 
bound together, form a considerable number ot good- 
sized volumes ; a handsome library, in fact 

On August 24, 1876, Mr. White, with the other Consuls 
and Diplomatic Agents at Belgrade, had been summoned 
to the Palace where Prince Milan announced his willing- 
ness to accept an intervention on the part of the great 
Powers with a view to peace. Before, however, the 


negotiations could be commenced, the Turks gained a 
new advantage over the Servians, attacking their army 
under the walls of Alexinatz and completely defeating 
it. The Servians, and especially the Servian artillery, 
are said to have fought well on this occasion. But, 
according to an opinion expressed in friendly conversa- 
tion by their leader, General Tchernaieff, the Servians in 
general though satisfactory enough as militia were worth 
very little as regular troops. They would defend with 
courage, that is to say, their domestic hearths but 
could not be counted upon for campaigning work on 
a large scale and away from home. 

The Battle of Alexinatz was fought on September 1, 
and on the evening of that day England proposed a 
month's armistice. Turkey would not consent to any sort 
of truce, but was prepared to make peace if Prince 
Milan would do homage at Constantinople. Four, 
moreover, of the Servian fortresses were to be garrisoned 
by Turkish troops, while the Servian tribute was to be 
increased and the Servian Army diminished. Turkey 
seemed resolved to make the terms of peace as difficult 
as possible ; and the Powers all agreed in regarding 
them as unreasonable. That, too, was Mr. White's 

Enough, however, of a war which was fought through- 
out on the understanding that the Servians with their 
Russian supporters might beat the Turks, but that the 
Turks must under no circumstances beat the Servians. 

The Turks showed during the campaign that they 
could still make war. But their indignation at being 
first provoked into taking up arms and afterwards com- 
pelled in the moment of victory to lay them down 
rendered them unable to make peace. 

Some three weeks before the forced conclusion of the 

108 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

TurkoServian War, Count Schuvaloff had already informed 
Lord Derby that the Russian Emperor was most anxious 
to bring it to an end ; and he wished this result to be 
attained not by Russia alone, but by the combined action 
of Russia, Austria, and England. Russia, according to 
the Emperor's suggestion, would occupy Servia and 
Austria Bosnia; while the English fleet could pass the 
Straits and show itself in the Bosphorus. If the naval 
demonstration on the part of England seemed sufficient, 
the Emperor was ready to abandon all idea of occupying 
Turkish territory. 

The English Cabinet was willing to press for a month's 
armistice, but objected to the military occupation by 
Russia and Austria and could not undertake by means 
of a naval demonstration to impose terms of peace upon\ 
Turkey. Lord Derby then proposed that a Conferences 
should assemble at Constantinople to consider the general \ 
situation. ■ 

Turkey, however, stuck to her idea of an armistice 
for half a year, during which period of delay she pro- 
posed to introduce the most important reforms and to 
set her house in order generally. Most of the Powers 
accepted the Turkish view of the situation. Russia, 
however, argued that Servia could not be expected to 
undergo the strain of keeping her army for the next 
six months on a war footing. 

The usual appeal was made to Prince Bismarck who 
informed Lord Derby that, though the German Govern- 
ment considered the idea of a six months' armistice 
reasonable enough, it could not press this idea upon 
any other power. In the end the Turks accepted an 
armistice for a month. 

The arrangements for the Conference having all been 
made, Lord Salisbury, on November 20, left London to 


attend it Mr. White had been already informed that 
he was to act as adlatus to his lordship.] 

On his way to Constantinople, Lord Salisbury made 
a diplomatic journey of an appropriately circuitous kind, 
visiting in the course of his travels Berlin, Vienna and 
Rome. Some of the incidents of this political tour, with 
the conversations to which they gave rise, were set forth 
in a series of despatches published in Blue Book form. 
Nor did Lord Salisbury omit to relate the particulars of 
his first interview with General Ignatieff at Constantinople. 
This was of the most friendly character. 

Every one had expected that England and Russia would 
be in antagonism throughout the Conference, and this 
anticipation was strengthened by Lord Salisbury's visit 
to the Prussian, Austrian, and Italian, but not to the 
Russian Court. But Berlin, Vienna, Rome were all 
more or less on the way to Constantinople, whereas a 
visit to St Petersburg would have involved a very round- 
about journey. There was another reason. But once 
arrived at Constantinople, Lord Salisbury found it an 
easy matter to come to an understanding with General 
Ignatieff; as he did a year later in London with Count 
Schuvaloff, before the Conference of Berlin. 

France was represented at the Conference by Count 
de Chaudordy, Ambassador Extraordinary, and Count de 
Bourgoing, Ambassador Resident; Austria by Count 
Calice, Ambassador Extraordinary, and Count Zichy, 
Ambassador Resident. General Ignatieff, with character- 
istic self-confidence, dispensed with the assistance of any 
Ambassador Extraordinary from St. Petersburg ; while 
Germany and Italy were content to leave their interests 
respectively to the care of their resident ambassadors, 
Baron Werther and Count Corti. 

The latter diplomatist is said to have observed just 

no SERVIA, 1876. [Ch. VI 

before the Conference began its labours that the assembled 
delegates were in the position of architects proposing 
to make alterations in the house of a man who did 
not wish his house to be altered. The Sultan, moreover, 
in his character of " sick man/' was likened to a patient 
whom a number of doctors assembled in consultation 
insisted on treating without having been called in. 

An understanding between Lord Salisbury and General 
Ignatieff having so soon been reached, it was scarcely 
possible that the representatives of the other Powers 
would not fall into line. The harmony between the 
counsellors was, in fact, perfect ; and but for the counselled 
one not a discordant note would have been heard. 

Mr. White's particular duty in connection with the 
Conference was to furnish Lord Salisbury with information 
as to the condition of the Christian provinces and 
principalities of the Porte ; the aspirations of their popula- 
tions and their legal position ; the system of administration 
under which they lived; the way in which this adminis- 
tration was conducted, and so on. He had passed scarcely 
more than a year in Servia. But all that related to 
the Slavonian provinces of Turkey was, so far as it 
could be ascertained by study, known to him before 
he went to Belgrade ; and he had been assiduous in 
his journeyings and his researches ever since his arrival. 
It will be remembered, too, that when Mr. White was 
Consul at Dantzic he made, by the direction of the 
Foreign Office, a political tour of observation in Hungary 
and its Slavonian provinces. 

Until now a knowledge of European-Turkey had been 
held to mean knowledge of the Turkish language and 
of Turkish methods of government Sir Henry Layard, 
as appears from more than one of his letters to Sir 
William White, held, even after the treaty of Berlin, when 


European-Turkey in its old form had been destroyed, 
that a mastery of the Turkish language was still an 
all-important part of the necessary equipment of a young 
man preparing himself for Consular and Diplomatic 
Service in the East ; while Servian seemed to him, by 
comparison, of slight value. 

In connection with the affairs of Turkey in Europe, 
Mr. White was the very man for whom, thirteen years 
before, the late Lord Strangford had been seeking, and 
seeking in vain, when in his famous chapter entitled 
" Chaos," appended to Lady Strangford's " Eastern Shores 
of the Adriatic," he wrote as follows : 

" The most remarkable fact in Turkey is the awakening 
of the subject nationalities, the rising cultivation of their 
languages, and the utter un trust worthiness of their talk 
about themselves when not properly controlled. But we 
have no Englishman who knows anything whatever about 
Servian, about Bulgarian, or, beyond a moderate point, 
about Wallachian ; yet the language of each nationality, 
Turkish hardly excepted, is its life-blood." 

Lord Strangford did not at that time (1863) know of 
Mr. White's existence, though he and Lady Strangford 
were afterwards numbered among Mr. White's best friends. 
The future Ambassador was still Vice-Consul at Warsaw, 
where, towards the end of 1863, he made the acquaintance 
of Mr. (afterwards Sir) M. E. Grant Duff, who, in the year 
following, introduced him to Lord Strangford in London. 

I find among Sir William White's papers an interesting 
letter addressed to him by Lady Strangford in the 
year 1887, in which she signs herself, "Your faithful 
friend and admirer." 

To return to the Conference : in one of Sir Henry 
Layard's letters to Sir William White, Prince Dondoukoff- 
Korsakoff is said to have described the Berlin Conference 

112 SERVIA, 187& [Ch. VI 

as w une com/die (T Offenbach" That was a mistake. But 
there was really a little of the opera bouffe element in 
the proceedings at the Conference of Constantinople. 

After the Turkish President had made an impotent 
attempt to explain away the Bulgarian massacres 
discharges of artillery were suddenly heard, and the 
President of the Conference surprised his fellow- 
members by informing them that these formidable salutes 
announced the promulgation of the Ottoman Constitution. 
"A great act," he said, "accomplished at this very 
hour, changes the form of government which has endured 
for six hundred years. The constitution which His 
Majesty the Sultan has bestowed on his Empire is 
promulgated. It inaugurates a new era of happiness 
and prosperity for the people." 

The Sultan was now a constitutional sovereign. The 
liberty of his subjects was guaranteed, and they were 
all, whether Mahometan or Christian, equal before the 
law, and alike eligible for public offices. The proceedings 
of the law courts were to be public ; suitors were to be 
represented by advocates, and the judges were to be 
irremovable. A Chamber of Deputies and a Senate were 
to be established, and no tax could be imposed or levied 
except in virtue of the law. 

The French representative, Count de Chaudordy, re- 
marked that until peace was established the Constitution 
could not have a fair trial ; and this view was supported 
by Lord Salisbury and General IgnatiefT. 

Safvet Pasha replied that the new Constitution must 
be regarded as a means towards securing and perpetuating 

The Conference in general, however, looked upon the 
Constitution merely as a device for impeding the business 
of the Assembly. No one seems to have believed in 


it except Sir Henry Elliot — and, above all, Sir Henry 
Layard ; who, a year or two after its promulgation, 
speaks of it in more than one letter to Sir William 
as though it were a living institution, in full activity. 
The author of the Constitution was an earnest reformer, 
Midhat Pasha ; a man of energy, of liberal views, and 
of scrupulous honesty, who in the province placed under 
his government made roads, built bridges, and provided 

A dozen years later, in the pages of the Nineteenth 
Century, Sir Henry Elliot wrote an interesting and in- 
structive article on Turkish affairs, in which he pays a 
high tribute to Midhat Pasha, and expresses his full 
belief in the practical value of his constitution. The 
reader of the article cannot but wonder why these views 
were not insisted upon at the Conference when the Turk 
was told, first, that he must introduce reforms, and secondly, 
that the reforms he had ready for introduction could not 
be considered. On the other hand it may be said that 
if Turkey wished to introduce general reforms that 
constituted no reason why she should not carry out the 
specific reforms insisted upon by the Powers. 

To the somewhat commonplace objection that Midhat 
Pasha's constitution was only a "paper Constitution," 
Sir Henry Elliot well replies that it is impossible to 
improvise an ancient constitution based on tradition, 
and that every constitution has had for its origin a 
document of some kind. Still, if the Turks generally 
had believed very much in their Constitution they might, 
on their own account, have introduced it after the war. 

At the first two meetings of the Conference little was 
done, the Turkish representatives declaring that they 
could accept nothing without referring to their Govern- 
ment At the third meeting, General Ignatieff demanded 


ii 4 SERVIA, 1876. [Ch.VI 

that the proposals made to the Porte should be accepted 
or rejected forthwith. The Turks, however, while declining 
to consider the proposals laid before them, insisted on 
their own counter proposal — the acceptance of the Turkish 

One of the strangest suggestions put forward by the 
Powers was that Bulgaria should be occupied by a 
Belgian gendarmerie ; an arrangement to which the 
consent of the Belgian Government had not been asked 
and which the government of Turkey at once rejected. 
The representatives of the European Powers showed 
themselves in many ways most accommodating ; though 
by diminishing their demands daily they encouraged 
the Turks to refuse the little which was still required 
from them. 

In the end the Powers would not consider the Turkish 
proposals, while the Turks refused to entertain the pro- 
posals submitted to them. War even now was not 
absolutely inevitable. It was just possible that Turkey 
left to herself, might carry out her promised reforms. 
Such a course, however, seemed to Russia so improbable — 
perhaps so undesirable— that she hastened to commence 
the hostilities which had for some time past been in 

Lord Derby addressed a strong protest to the Russian 
Government, maintaining that Turkey should have been 
allowed time to carry out the reforms she had pledged 
herself to introduce. Disapproving of the war, it followed 
as a matter of course that England could not be counted 
upon to acquiesce in any advantages that Russia might 
seek to derive from it 

While the Conference was going on, Mr. White 
received the following letter from Sir Robert Morier at 
Lisbon : 


"British Legation, Lisbon. 

* My dear White, 

"I have just seen in the papers that you have 
been appointed to act as adlatus to Lord Salisbury ; 
you will readily imagine how great was my satisfaction 
at this appointment. I ought to have told you long 
ago (only you know I am weak as a correspondent) that 
when I was in London this summer, I learnt not only 
from the Dii Minorum Gentium at the Office, but 
directly from the Olympians, that you had given the 
highest satisfaction. You will be a deal too busy to 
wish to have a long tartine from me, and besides, my 
work here is not of a kind to interest a man and a 
brother. I have bid adieu to Europe and can only look 
on to this great crisis as if it were a pantomime or 
Schatten-spiel played by silhouettes whom I used to 
know in a former state of existence but all strange to 
me now. Nevertheless, I cannot help taking an interest 
in the plot and in the performances of the various actors, 
and there is a solution which seems to me so obvious 
that I do want to know, should you ever have time to 
write to me, why it has never yet been proposed. The 
only difficulty that I can see is the question of occupa- 
tion. I cannot suppose that with the Syrian precedent 
we shall obstinately refuse the principle of occupation 
in any shape. The difficulty must be as to who should 
occupy. The poco curantes won't The parties really in- 
terested, Russia and England, are each jealous of the 
other. Why has not a joint Anglo-Russian occupation 
ever been suggested? This seems to me to solve all 
difficulties. As long as we are there the Turks have 
nothing to dread from Russian occupation nor the 
Christians from Turkish barbarity. By proposing this 
joint occupation to Russia we checkmate any ulterior 
views she may have, at the same time that we afford 
her the guarantee she requires for the enforcing of the 
new state of things in Bulgaria. But just conceive all 
the benefits we might derive from such a comparative 
study of Russian and English occupiers for our own 
prestige in the East I We have always had it in our 
own power — I have not ceased to din that into the ears 
of the F. O. — to make ourselves the point (Vappui of the 
Christians in the Turkish Empire, and thus take all 

n6 SERVIA, 187& [Ch.VI 

the wind out of the sails of Russia ; and after the popula- 
tion had seen the difference between an English and a 
Russian occupation it would jump to the eyes even of 
the blind, and we should d&uter into a new policy at 
Constantinople with an immense advantage. 

" These, however, are all derivatory considerations The 
importance of this solution suggests itself to me because 
it is the only way out of a dilemma. 

" If we assent to the occupation by Russia alone we 
eat humble pie. 

" If we dissent from that occupation, and no one else 
is ready to occupy, we go against the whole feeling of 
Europe. The joint occupation settles everything. 

"Yours sincerely, 
« R. B. MORIER." 

Before returning to his post at Belgrade, Mr. White 
wrote to Sir Robert Morier, January 16, 1877, as follows : 

14 My dear Morier, 

" I was extremely gratified to receive your kind 
and affectionate letter the other day ; and though my time 
here is not my own, and I have hardly any to spare, you 
must nevertheless get a line before I leave this spot — 
the most beautiful by nature, but rendered rather beastly 
by man. 

" When the secret history of this Conference is written, 
it will be a strange revelation, as Lord Salisbury and his 
mission are exposed to every kind of abuse and shaking 
of the head, more especially on the part of the English 
residents here, and particularly of those who stand well 
with our own regular Embassy. The latter is very 
unfortunately composed, and the selection does little 
credit to F. O. I do not speak of the chief or of his 
son Francis — the latter is a nice young man full of tact 
and hope. But the other three secretaries (Baring is 
away) are below the average of the ordinary class of 
our Diplomatic Service and are chiefly distinguished by 
their Russophobia which they bring prominently forward 
in and out of season. The Dragomen, including the 
first Oriental Secretary, are all Levantines of a very bad 
type and suspected of being corrupt. The service of the 
Embassy, *>., its political influence, is reduced to nil. 


"Now Lord Salisbury during his diplomatic tour to 
Continental Courts convinced himself that no Power was 
disposed to shield Turkey — not even Austria if blood 
had to be shed for the status quo; and his Lordship 
came here determined to prepare for a new line of policy. 
As soon as the regular Embassy twigged this they com- 
menced opposing him more or less openly, saying he 
was deceived by the Russians, enguirlandi 1 by Ignatieff, 
ignorant of Turkish usages and ways, etc., etc. As I 
have seen a good deal of Lord and Lady Salisbury, I have 
come in for my share of unpopularity with the other 
people and also with that queer set, our consuls in Turkey. 

"You know me well enough. I did not come here 
to deceive Lord Salisbury or to defend an untenable 
Russophobe or pro-Turkish policy. The next Session 
of Parliament will no doubt be greatly affected by the 
negative results of this Conference which will be closed 
probably to-morrow. 

11 There will probably be a difference of opinion in the 
Cabinet as to our future line of policy, and I shall not 
wonder if Lord Salisbury should upset Dizzy and take 
his place or leave the Government on this question. If 
he does the latter the coach is indeed upset. 

" Bismarck aims at preventing every pacific solution \ 
and involving Russia in a costly and dangerous war. He 
will continue to use Andrassy as his tool and will thus 
prepare two great results : the weakening of Russia and 
the partition of Turkey. If he can bring all this about 
— and for this there must be war — he will find it easy 
to isolate France permanently and to make some re 
arrangement of the map of Europe which will, in his 
opinion, strengthen and consolidate the Reich. 

" The question for us is, first, to preserve peace on fair 
terms advantageous to the populations of this empire ; 
secondly, if this fails, to watch over such portions as bear 
on our interests. It is certainly most important for us 
to prevent Bismarck from having altogether his own way 
in Europe. But to do this we must, whilst keeping well 
with France and Austria, draw nearer to Russia ; and 
this has been Lord Salisbury's object, though he has been 

1 A term invented by M. de Custine in his brilliant but libellous book 
on Russia to denote the Russian's alleged custom of " encircling with 
flowers " those whom he wishes to deceive. 

n8 SERVIA, 1876. [CIlVI 

thwarted by the Premier at home and, to a certain extent, 
by some parties here. 

" In my opinion the Conference is not a complete or 
open failure, as some people think ; for it will show the 
people at home how obstinate and incorrigible the Turk 
is, and that the F. O. must mind better whom it employs 
in the service abroad. Your name has of course been 
mentioned, and it will be a happy day for mc should 
I hear that the Olympians have determined to send you 
out here to take charge even provisionally of this Embassy. 

" Some one with your rank in the service will have to 
be sent, as Sir Henry Elliot is not likely to come back 
very soon — if ever ; and it will be impossible to fill up 
the ambassadorial post just now. 

" I cannot say what Lord Salisbury will recommend, 
nor how far his recommendations will be attended to; 
but your name has been mentioned. 

" How I wish that we could be brought nearer to 
each other and could work together I 

" I have applied for leave, and propose starting from 
here on Tuesday the 23rd inst. I shall go at once to 
Belgrade, and thence, I trust, to London, as I want to 
follow Lord Salisbury there and hear what is going on." 

On March 21, 1877, Morier sent to the above letter 
the subjoined reply: 

"My dear White, 

u I received your very welcome letter of the 
16 January in due course of time. Later on I saw in the 
correspondence from Belgrade that you had returned there, 
and that you had been ordered to give up 'your well- 
deserved leave ' owing to the importance of your presence 
on the spot. I therefore shall not write to you in 
London as I had intended. Mrs. Morier, however, has 
just read out from the Times a list of Beust's guests and 
amongst them Mr. White. Now I do not believe that 
this can be other than you (alas! there are few Whites 
in the world and an outrageous lot of Blacks) so I suppose 
you have returned to the Fatherland and are enjoying 
the excitement of the situation. I was exceedingly 
interested in your letter as you may well imagine. It 


was the first perfectly authentic piece of intelligence 
I had received in this out-of-the-way hole to which no 
one ever writes. I need not say that every word it 
contains is absolutely sacred. I have tried to use what 
you say as a key to what has happened since, but, alas! 

there was not enough to enable me to do so. Lord S 's 

acceptance of the mission with the instructions he took 
out with him and his attitude since his return alike 
remain a complete puzzle to me. But as I know from 
experience the impossibility of solving such puzzles 
without the knowledge which only a few possess, I have 
given it up as a bad job. The abiding fact that remains 
after all is said and done, is the absolute and unconditional 
ineptitude of our International machinery — and to this 
there is no remedy. The country itself is mortally 
diseased with a fatty hearty and those that guide her 
destinies have the disease in an intensified form and 
there is no use shuffling about this. The Departmental 
people of the F. O. are the worst offenders. Their hatred 
of anything that rises above routine or carries with it 
the promise of a policy would be amusing if one could 
look at it with indifferent eyes and not as an interested 
party. I have felt it already here. There was plenty 
of excellent work to be done — the not doing of which 
is certain to lead to future catastrophes. . . . But verbum 
saft, to quote your own words. I need not tell you the 
kind of reception my proposals are likely to meet with. 

The personal portion of your letter was not the least 
interesting — Mais jene me fais aucune illusion. I should 
have liked nothing better than such an interim as you 
describe as having been talked of, with a man like 
Lord Salisbury at the F. O. to back me. But without 
such backing up, I confess I should have looked upon 
such an appointment with fear and trembling. There 
was an obvious arrangement to be made, and I confess 
I thought it would not have failed to be made with Lord 
Salisbury out there. I mean that you should have been 
left in charge of the mission as Charg6 d' Affaires or Acting 
Charge d' Affaires or under any other name that would 
have caused the fewest hysterics to F. O. clerks. 

" When I saw poor dear old Jos had been left in 
charge. ... I ought perhaps to have cried, but I fear 
I broke out into shrill and disagreeable laughter. I shall 
be very curious to see whom they send out In the 

120 SERVIA, 187& [Ch.VI 

profession there is absolutely no one fit for the place 
except Odo, and I suppose they cannot spare him at 
Berlin. Hudson is of course the man, but I fear there 
is no chance of their thinking of him, and I do not know 
whether his health would allow him to accept the post 
But he was to be had for the asking as late as three 
or four years ago. It must end in their sending an 
outsider, and there I am nearly as much puzzled as ever. 
Bartle Frere and Dufferin would both be good men, but 
they are employed elsewhere. I have been sent a very 
ill-natured cutting from Labouchere's new paper Truth, 
saying I am a candidate and that no worse man could 
be chosen for the post Then follows an unflattering 
notice of Thornton as another candidate ; then a flaming 
description of Lord Napier as the man. 

" Let me have a letter of gossip. You do not know 
what it is to be here high and dry, and for obvious 
reasons the people I might write to for gossip are people 
under actual circumstances that I would not for the world 
address. I shall always be grateful to the Oriental 
Question for one thing, which is that it has brought you 
to the fore and got your merits at last acknowledged. 

"Do not forget what I urged on you the last time 
you were in England — to be chary of your good words 
in reference to me. I don't so much care about Lord 

Salisbury, but have specially Lord D in mind. He is 

the sort might think we hunted in couples Verbum sap. 

"Yours sincerely, 
« R. B. M." 



SIR HENRY ELLIOT, having shown himself a 
little too Turkish for the popular taste, was trans- 
ferred after the Conference of Constantinople to Vienna, 
when Lord Beaconsfield appointed an eminent Liberal, 
Sir Henry Layard, to replace him as Ambassador to 
the Porte. The ancient Liberals who had supported 
Poland in 1830, and Hungary in 1848, and who were 
bitterly opposed to Russia at the time of the Crimean 
War, were for the most part thorough-going Turks, 
and Sir Henry Layard was one of them. He was much 
more Turkish now than any of his fellows of the 1848 
period ; some of whom had lost confidence in the Turk, 
while others had never believed in him except as a 
counterpoise to Russia, and only admired him for the 
protection which, in spite of Russian menaces, he had 
given to the Hungarian refugees of 1849. 

But the Liberals of the year 1877, the " Gee-Gees, M as Sir 
Robert Morier called them, — the followers, that is to say 
of Gladstone and Granville,— could not abide the Turk ; 
for which reason Sir Henry Layard, though like them 
he called himself a Liberal, was for Turkish affairs by 
no means their man. He was far more Turkish than 
Lord Salisbury, who had represented the Conservative 
Government at the Conference of Constantinople ; in- 
finitely more Turkish than Lord Derby, Conservative 

191 1 6 


Foreign Minister at the time, and quite as Turkish as 
Lord Beaconsfield himself. 

But there was scarcely a statesman in Europe (including, 
of course, Sir Henry Layard) who, however well disposed 
towards the Turks, did not think important reforms 
indispensable in Turkey ; and many no doubt believed 
that it would be a good thing if, to employ a phrase 
of Mr. Gladstone's (and of Lord Stratford de Redclifle's), 
the Turk could conveniently be turned " bag and baggage " 
out of Europe. 

For the English Ambassadors who have shown them- 
selves most strenuous in maintaining the Turkish Empire 
against its assailants have not for that reason been 
admirers of the Turks ; and the statesman who first 
expressed a wish to see the Turks turned out of Europe 
"bag and baggage" was indeed Lord Stratford de 
Redcliffe. In a letter of the year 1826 to his cousin, 
George Canning, he wrote as follows: 

"As a matter of humanity I wish with all my soul 
that the Greeks were put in possession of their whole 

Eatrimony, and that the Sultan was driven bag and 
aggage into the heart of Asia." 1 

Count Andrassy's favourite formula for Turkey — pre- 
scription, one might almost say — was "the status quo 
ameliorated." There is little or nothing in Sir Henry 
Layard's very numerous letters addressed to Mr. White 
from 'Constantinople to show that he thought any funda- 
mental reforms necessary or even possible. He, also 
preferred the " status quo very much ameliorated." 

1 " Life of the Right Hon. Stratford Canning Viscount Stratford 
de Redcliffe," by Stanley Lane-Poole. Whether Mr. Gladstone ever 
saw the letter from Mr. Stratford Canning containing the phrase in 
question may weU be doubted. Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet was 
published in 1877, Mr. Lane-Poole's biography in 1888. 

1 877] "TURKEY IN EUROPE" 123 

" Turkey in Europe," with its vassal states governing 
themselves peacefully and paying tribute to the suzerain 
only that he might defend them against foreign aggressors, 
without putting them to the expense of keeping up 
standing armies of their own : what could be better than 
this state of things if fairly worked, and how, more- 
over, could such an organisation be replaced? 

At the time, however, of the Constantinople Conference, 
"Turkey in Europe" was already in a condition of 
complete anarchy. The vassal state of Servia and all 
the Slavonian provinces had already taken up arms 
against the Sultan, while the powerful vassal state of 
Roumania was to join the rebellion soon afterwards. 
An empire in which all the provinces and principalities 
were at war with the Imperial suzerain may have been 
a difficult one to replace ; it was certainly not an easy 
one to maintain. 

When as a young man Sir Henry Layard first visited 
Turkey the subject populations of the Balkan Peninsula 
were still in a dormant condition. The Russians in their 
latest war against Turkey ( 1 828-29) had scarcely thought 
it worth while to wake them up ; and some partial 
experiments made in that direction had proved utter 
failures. Roumanians, Servians, Bulgarians, Montenegrins 
used at that time to be spoken of collectively as " Greek 
Christians " ; and the only constant champions of Christian 
independence against Mahometan tyranny were the 
Greeks with their bands of hetaerae. Panslavism had 
not yet been conceived ; or, if conceived — chiefly as a 
literary idea by professors and writers in Bohemia — had 
not yet been promulgated in Servia, still less in Bulgaria, 
as a political principle. 

A curious record had been preserved by Sir William 
White of Sir Henry Layard 's first visit to Servia ; on 


which occasion, he seems, as might have been expected, 
to have taken less interest in the Servians than in the 
Turks who ruled them ; less in the British Consul- 
General and diplomatic agent at Belgrade, than in the 
Turkish Pasha who commanded the Belgrade fortress. 

Sir Stratford Canning (afterwards Lord Stratford de 
Redcliffe) was at that time British Ambassador at 
Constantinople; and he gave young Layard, in whom 
he took much interest, a letter of introduction to Mr. de 
Fonblanque, Consul-General at Belgrade. Here is the 

11 Constantinople, 
11 August 15th, 1842. 

"Dear Sir, 

"The traveller who will deliver this letter to you 
is Mr. Layard, an English gentleman, who has been in 
several parts of Asia, and who wishes not to return to 
England without seeing a part of European Turkey. I 
have only known him since his arrival here, but his 
talents, his information, and his estimable character make 
me desirous of assisting him in the course of his travels, 
and I shall therefore feel obliged by your lending him 
such aid as your acquaintance with the country where 
you live may enable you to afford. 

"Believe me, 

" Very sincerely yours, 

"Stratford Canning. 

"Thomas di Grenier di Fonblanque, Esq." 

Sir Stratford Canning's letter of introduction bears the 
following strange endorsement, apparently in the hand- 
writing of Mr. De Fonblanque. 

" Constantinople,* 1 

"August 15/42. 

" Sir Stratford Canning 

Introduces a 

Mr. Layard who wishes 

to see something of 


European Turkey before 

he returns to England. 

(Mem. Mr. Layard 

did return to 


after seeing something 

of European Turkey, 

and undermining 

me with the Pasha— all in the Ambassador's name." 

Servia, it will be remembered, was in those days a 
self-governing state under a Christian Prince, but also 
under the constant surveillance and occasional shell-fire 
of a Turkish Pasha who commanded the garrison of the 
citadel, from which the Servian capital could be bom- 
barded and, if thought necessary, destroyed. 

Mr. de Fonblanque does not seem to have been a 
favourite with the Turks ; and he was once, when taking 
a walk round the ramparts, attacked and seriously wounded 
by Turkish soldiers. Mr. Layard, on the other hand, 
entertained the most bitter contempt for the Servians ; 
and it can easily be understood that in any conversation 
they may have held on the subject of Servia and the 
Turkish garrison, Mr. Layard and Mr. de Fonblanque 
would not have agreed. 

Sir Stratford Canning's letter of introduction, with 
Mr. de Fonblanque's sarcastic endorsement, may have 
been found by Mr. White at the British Consulate when 
he arrived at Belgrade in 1875, thirty-three years after 
the letter was received and many years after Mr. de 
Fonblanque's death, which was hastened, if not directly 
caused, by the injuries he received at the hands of the 

Mr. Layard's visit to Belgrade may possibly have been 
a visit of inspection ; for, on his return to Constantinople, 
he did some work for Sir Stratford Canning's Embassy, 


to which he was afterwards officially attached. Then he 
had a long and honourable career in England, where his 
Assyrian researches and his work on "Nineveh and its 
Remains 19 had made him famous. He was returned to 
Parliament, and in 1852 held the post of Under-Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs in Lord John Russell's administration. 
Returned to Parliament for Southwark in i860, Mr 
Layard became in the year following Lord Palmerston's 
Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He was in office 
till 1866 under Lord Russell ; and he joined Mr. Gladstone's 
Government as Chief Commissioner of Works in 1868, 
from which post he retired in the following year to accept 
the Legation at Madrid. 

Having been promoted to Constantinople in 1877, 
Sir Henry Layard remained there throughout the Russo- 
Turkish War, during the Berlin Conference, and until the 
return of the "Gee-Gees" to power in 1880, when he was 
recalled, to be replaced by Mr. Goschen, who was sent 
out with the title of Special Ambassador. 

No one could have been more anxious to save Turkey 
from the ruin which threatened her than Sir Henry 
Layard. His sympathy inspired him with hope, and 
his hope with conviction that Turkey was still a vigorous 
power. For him " Turkey in Europe " had by no means 
ceased to exist, and in two different letters he impresses 
upon Mr. White how desirable it is for a young man 
of ability bent on making his mark in connection with 
Eastern affairs to master the Turkish language rather 
than the tongues of the despised Slavonians. 

" Do you wish to keep Mr. Cumberbatch permanently 
at Belgrade ? " he writes ; " and is he learning Turkish as 
well as Servian ? " 

And again : 

"I am glad to hear that you are pleased with 


Cumberbatch. Impress upon him that if he wishes to 
do well here and to get on he should work hard at 
Turkish, and learn to read and write it." 

Mr. Cumberbatch, of whom Sir William White enter- 
tained a very high opinion, is now H.B.M's Consul at 

Here are two highly interesting letters from Sir Henry 
Layard, written immediately after the completion of the 
" preliminaries " of San Stefano. 

" British Embassy, Constantinople,, 

"Feb. 1, 1878. 

" My dear Mr. White,— 

"Your last letter to me was of the 14th ultima 
I am not surprised at its melancholy tone — it is fully 
justified by the course of events. I telegraphed to you 
yesterday that the bases of peace and the armistice 
were to be signed that day. We are not yet officially 
acquainted with the conditions of peace — as the Porte 
has been warned so meaningly not to reveal them that, 
for once in a way, the secret has been kept However, 
we know enough of them, if not all of them, to make it 
pretty clear that if they are carried out there is an end 
to the Turkish rule in Europe and to our influence in the 
East. They are scarcely less disastrous to Austria than 
they are to Turkey, for it is difficult to see how the 
Austro-Hungarian Empire can hold together when the 
greater part of Turkey in Europe is formed into a great 
Slav state which will be entirely dependent upon Russia 
if it be not speedily annexed to her. I should be very 
glad to have your views on this subject Whatever may 
be the result of the war, and the peace ultimately concluded, 
I see in the proposed arrangements abundant seed of 
future disorders and wars. The Eastern Question will 
be very far from settled, although it may pass into 
another phase. 

" The terms of peace will, of course, much depend upon 
the attitude of England and Austria. That there must 
be great and fundamental reforms in Turkish Administra- 
tion no one can doubt The utter rottenness of the 


present system has been fully proved by the present 
war. The Empire has been sacrificed to palace intrigues, 
corruption, and incapacity. The man to whom all the 
disasters that have befallen Turkey must be mainly 
attributed—Suleiman Pasha — has been sustained by the 
palace party. He is either so utterly ignorant and in- 
competent, that he ought not to have been entrusted 
with a command, or he is a traitor. There are good 
grounds for suspecting that he is the latter. Months 
ago the Sultan and his ministers were warned that 
Suleiman was sacrificing the country, and yet some 
occult influence enabled him to get all honest and capable 
men out of the way, and to obtain for himself supreme 
command. Had it not been for this, the Russians would 
have been compelled to recross the Danube and to 
enter upon a second campaign. My only hope now is 
in the Turkish Parliament, which may yet do something 
towards bringing about those reforms, which are absolutely 
necessary for keeping together the fragments that may 
be left of the Turkish Empire. 

Pray remember me kindly to Christich, 1 for whom I 
have much esteem. I shall be glad to hear from you 
whenever you have the means of writing to me, and 
leisure to do so. 

" Yours very truly, 
" A. H. Layard." 

" Constantinople. 

" March i, 1878. 

m My dear Mr, White, 

As I have no means of sending a letter safely to 
you, I am somewhat discouraged about writing. My 
last from you was of the 5 th of last month. The Turkish 
letter in it was duly presented. The gloomy view of the 
state of affairs here that you express is, I fear, too well 
justified. It is true that the peace will probably be 
signed to-morrow ; but it is a peace which may lead 
to many wars. You probably know the conditions so 
far as they have transpired. I have yet no official 
knowledge of them, but I believe that those given by 
the Press are fairly correct. They amount to the end 

1 Late Servian agent at Constantinople, where be 'became one of 
Sir Henry Layard's moat intimate friends. 


of the Turkish rule in Europe. No bad thing if it could 
be replaced by any other that would suit the interests ( 
of peace, humanity, and civilisation. I am afraid that j 
this New Bulgaria, a mere Russian dependency, and a 
number of small Slav states and communities, ready to 
take each other by the throat, will promote neither. 
As for Austria, I cannot understand how she allowed 
matters to go so far. You say that Count Andrassy 
has a regular scheme for replacing the old Ottoman Empire. 
It is time that we should know what it is. But it is 
not easy to form empires and states and to remodel 
the map of Europe without having recourse to Russian 
measures, which unsettle everything, and may lead to 
consequences of which those who employ them may be 
the victims. 

"It has always appeared to me that the true p<5licy of 
England and Austria with regard to Turkey was to keep 
matters as they were as long as possible ; using at the 
same time their joint endeavours to improve the govern- 
ment of the country, and to secure, to Christians and 
Mussulmans alike, justice and equal rights, thus preparing 
them for the changes which were sooner or later, inevitable, 
but which might have been brought about without the 
frightful bloodshed and misery caused by this Russian 
invasion, and without the risk of plunging Europe into 

" England and Austria had no rival interests in Turkey. 
On the contrary, we might have pulled earnestly and 
sincerely together, and have effected a deal of good. i 

11 1 grieve with you about the course taken by the Liberal ' 
party. Gladstone, carried away by a passionate hatred 
of Lord Beaconsfield and without any of those sentiments 
of national pride and dignity which distinguished the 
order of statesmen who directed our foreign policy in days 
gone by, has inflicted a blow upon his country from which 
she may never recover unless she is prepared to make 
enormous sacrifices. 

" I hope Christich is well ; pray give him my kind 
remembrances. I hear that Servia is little satisfied with 
the compensation to be given to her ; and with a 
discontented Roumania, an anarchical Bulgaria, and 
ambitious Greeks, we have a pretty prospect before us. 

11 Yours truly, 

(t A. H. Layard." 




[Ch. VII 

The preceding letter is the last, or at least the last 
preserved by Sir William White, of the very numerous 
ones which Sir Henry Layard addressed to him at Belgrade. 

The British Consul-General and Diplomatic Agent at 
Belgrade was now transferred to Bucharest ; but without, 
for the moment, any promotion as regards rank. 



ROUMANIA under the name of "Moldavia and 
Wallachia," " Moldo-Wallachia," and in ordinary 
parlance the " Danubian principalities/' was but little 
known to the West of Europe until the time of the Crimean 
War, when Turkey's twin vassal states on the Danube were 
occupied, first by Russia, as a menace to Turkey, afterwards 
by Austria, as a protection against Russia. The two self- 
governing tributary States were under the rule of Christian 
princes, or hospodars appointed by the Sultan. Their 
" orthodox " religion was in no way interfered with ; and 
in the whole of Moldo-Wallachia there was not and never 
had been a single Mosque. 

Originally the tribute payable to Turkey represented 
the right of being defended against external enemies. But 
this did not prevent the Sultan from ceding portions of 
Wallachia to Austria, which thus gained possession of the 
Bukovina ; nor from making over a large piece of Moldavia 
to Russia, which acquired in this manner the province 
of Bessarabia. 

Suffering, as they did in many ways, from the power 
of their Turkish suzerain, Moldavia and Wallachia were 
nevertheless self-governing States, with their own national 
administration ; and so jealous were they of their 
nationality and of their well-established system of self- 



government that when, at the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, some of the leading personages in Moldavia 
signed a convention with Peter the Great who was about 
to make war on Turkey, they stipulated that in case of 
his liberating Moldavia from its dependence on the 
Sultan he would introduce no Russian into the Mol- 
davian administration. Positive pledges were given to 
that effect. The Moldavians had enough political discern- 
ment to see the necessity of guarding themselves before- 
hand against the dangerous patronage of their would-be 

Roumania as an independent kingdom is little more 
than twenty years old, and as a united State under Turkish 
suzerainty only forty-two years old. But Moldavia and 
Wallachia (first brought together under the rule of Prince 
Couza in 1859) had enjoyed a national existence as 
separate principalities, with self-government, and a con- 
tinuous political history for fifteen centuries. 

The principalities were little known to the West But 
they occasionally produced a man like Prince Cantemir, 
who, writing in the Latin language, made himself a 
name among West Europeans by his interesting histories 
of Turkey and the Turks, and by his descriptions of the 
strange, unfamiliar regions in which he had passed his 
eventful life. 

In the present day no one has done so much to 
popularise Roumania directly and indirectly in all parts 
of the world as Carmen Sylva ; so that many persons more 
interested in literature than in politics know Roumania 
only through the writings of her illustrious Queen. 

To casual political observers, the Danubian principalities 
seem to have been constantly getting " occupied " — 
now by Turkey, now by Russia, now by Austria. But 
for the Crimean War (which many a thoughtless 


politician now declares to have been waged in vain) 
the Danubian principalities would have been annexed 
to the Russian Empire ; and it was seriously proposed 
before the meeting of the Conference of Paris, after 
the Crimean War, that they should be ceded to Austria 
so as to form a permanent bulwark against Russian 
aggression in the direction of Turkey. Austria was a as 
part of this arrangement, to make over her Italian 
provinces to our good ally in the Crimea, the King of 
Sardinia. But Austria was unwilling to place herself 
in a position of permanent hostility towards Russia, nor 
could she foresee that in a few years she would lose 
both Lombardy and Venetia without gaining anything 
in return. 

In a project for the reconstruction of Poland, which 
during the insurrection of 1863, met with the approval 
of the Emperor Napoleon, Austria was to have ceded 
Galicia towards the construction of a new Polish State, 
and to have taken the Danubian principalities in exchange. 
Possible objections on the part of the Roumanians were 
not taken into consideration by the patriots of Poland. 
So selfish is patriotism ! 

In spite of the apparent uncertainty of her political 
fate, Roumania has never shown the slightest leaning 
towards consolidation with either of her powerful neigh- 
bours. She cherishes her ancient nationality in the 
most exclusive manner. Although ethnographers are not 
absolutely agreed as to the origin of the Roumanians 
— except, of course, that they are of Roman descent, — 
it is certain that for many centuries past they have 
guarded and preserved their nationality, surrounded on 
all sides by races of different origins, with the most 
scrupulous care ; regarding as foreigners from generation 
to generation all settlers within their boundaries to 


whom special letters of naturalisation have not been 
granted. The traditional customs and laws on this 
head are referred to more than once by Mr. White 
in his despatches on the subject of Jewish Disabilities in 

Mr. White was transferred from Belgrade to Bucharest 
in a somewhat unceremonious manner, without credentials, 
without authority to recognise the independence of 
Roumania, just freed from vassalage ; but with instructions 
to obtain from the Roumanian Government the most 
favourable conditions in a new commercial treaty. 

Do ut des is a sound commercial as well as diplomatic 
principle. But Nego ut des was the parodoxical formula 
which Mr. White had to apply. 

"I am very glad," began the letter, addressed to him by 
Lord Salisbury, May 4, 1878, "that you are going to 
Bucharest. I believe your presence and action there will 
be of great value, and that during this Eastern crisis, at 
least, your knowledge of Sclavonic tongues will be useful. 
Of course, what we want of all things just now is in- 
formation respecting the Roumanian and Russian Armies, 
and the condition of things in Russia, Roumania and 
Hungary so far as you are able to ascertain them. Of 
course you will do all you properly can to encourage 
the plucky attitude of Roumania. 

" We have sent you some work in the shape of a 
Commercial Treaty. It ought to have been done long 
ago, but they put it aside apparently from scruples as 
to whether Roumania was or was not an independent 
State. These, of course, are now at an end. 

" Meanwhile, the Government will no doubt bear in 
mind that we are a nation of shop-keepers, and that the 
only sure way to our affections is through a liberal tariff. 

" Believe me, 

" Yours very truly, 

" Salisbury." 

Mr. (now Lord) Curric wrote to Mr. % White from the 


Foreign Office on the same day as Lord Salisbury the 
following complimentary letter : 

"My dear White, 

"I congratulate you on your new post It is a 
very important one at the present crisis, and will give 
scope to your talents. . . . 

" Of course, it will be independent, and wc have no 
wish that it should not be so. But any recognition of the 
Treaty of San Stefano is undesirable at present." 

Mr. White then must have known tolerably well on 
being appointed to Bucharest that he would sooner or 
later be accredited to the Roumanian Court as Minister. 
The rank of Consul-General and Diplomatic Agent which 
he had held at Belgrade when Servia was a vassal State, 
would scarcely be good enough for an envoy to inde- 
pendent Roumania. 

Six months afterwards, however, no decision had been 
come to, as to what the rank of the new envoy should 
be ; nor was the point settled until a much later date. 

A letter received about this time (beginning of May) 
by Mr. White from Lord Odo Russell, shows that the 
British Ambassador at Berlin wished htm to be called to 
the Berlin Conference, "as you were to the Conference 
at Constantinople." 

On May 17, 1878, three days after Mr. White's appoint- 
ment to Bucharest, Sir Henry Elliot wrote to him as 
follows from Vienna : 

" British Embassy, Vienna. 

" Tuesday. 

"My dear Mr. White, 

" Let me begin by congratulating you on your 
appointment to Bucharest, which I suppose is official. 
It will be a more agreeable, as well as a more interesting 
post than Belgrade, though I am not sure that our friends 
the Egyptians would have selected you for it. 


" Mansfield l passed through Vienna three days ago. He 
tells me that there is much exaggeration in the talk that 
is going on, of there being a practical Russian occupation 
of the Principality. On the other hand, the irritation at 
the demand for the cession of Bessarabia seemed genuine 
and universal, though there cannot be a doubt that the 
Prince and his Ministers knew from the first that Russia 
was determined to have it, and they went into the 
alliance with their eyes open. This is the one point 
upon which Gladstone thinks Russia open to some re- 
proach. But Europe is not likely to go to war for the 
sake of saving Roumania from being plundered by her 
ally. The Roumanian Agents give it to be understood 
that if we go to war with Russia, nothing will induce their 
Government to move on her side, and if Austria went 
in with us, they wish it to be believed that they also 
would join. 

The Roumanians were sorely puzzled by the task im- 
posed upon them, and up to a certain point accepted, of 
dealing satisfactorily with the Jewish Question before their 
independence could be recognised. This was shown in 
many ways ; and among others by a strange but heroic 
plan formed by Prince Jon Ghika for the total abolition 
of customs duties. Sir Henry Elliot brought this matter 
to Mr. White's notice in a letter from Vienna dated 
May 26, 1878 : 

M Jon Ghika," he wrote, "and Demctri Stourdza were 
here for a few days, the latter having gone back to 
Bucharest, where you will no doubt see him. If you do 
not already know him, you will find him a most reasonable 
and sensible man. When he was the Prince's agent at 
Constantinople, he always tried to keep matters straight 
with the Porte, and if he had been more listened to many 
misunderstandings would have been avoided. 

" Ghika told me he is working to bring about the entire 
suppression of all custom duties in Roumania, which will 
singularly facilitate every commercial negotiation if it can 
be brought about. But how the loss of revenue would be 

1 Late Consul-General and Diplomatic Agent at Bucharest 


made up is more than I can see. He says it is the only 
way in which the Jew Question can be got rid of, after 
having been placed in such a bad position by the Austrian 
Treaty ; that there are many articles largely consumed in 
Roumania, the whole of which arc smuggled, and that if 
all duties were abolished the Principality would become 
the entrepdt for goods of all descriptions destined for their 
neighbours, and that as they have no industry or produce 
to protect by duties, there is no class that would be injured 
by the measure, while all would be gainers by it. All these 
arguments are very plausible, but the question whether the 
Principality can afford it will still remain." 

On July 11, two days before the Berlin Treaty was 
finally signed, Mr. White wrote to Lord Odo Russell as 
follows : 

" My dear Lord Odo, 

" I congratulate you upon the happy termination 
of your great task. It would have afforded me pleasure 
to have been near you at such a time — aber man muss 
sich/iigen. Many friends were there, Sir Lintorn Simmons, 
Currie, William Lee, etc., etc. 

"Since my arrival here I have had two unpleasant 
attacks of the indigenous fever. There has been very 
great (and not quite unnatural) irritation here, though 
the Prince, who is a most sensible man, has, like every one 
here, been extremely kind to me. There was some fear 
of the effects of a growing agitation, and it was not 
exactly easy to preach resignation to races having Latin 
blood in their veins. As a newcomer I had a little anxiety 
on that account, especially as I saw that my colleagues 
had still more. But the excitement has wonderfully 
abated within the last few days." 

Three weeks after the Berlin Treaty had been signed, 
Lord Odo Russell sent to Mr. White the subjoined 

reply : 

"British Embassy, Birlin. 
"4 August, 1878. 

"My dear Mr. White, 

" I need not tell you that it was not my fault if 
you were not summoned to the Congress, for I was most 



anxious to have you here. But all was hurried. The 
great object was to complete our task soon, and I think 
you will agree with me that Lord Beaconsfield and Lord 
Salisbury have made a capital treaty. 

" To my mind the Roumanians have been vastly 
benefited by the treaty ; but they were determined to 
have a grievance which they could get no one to believe 
in. If I were a Roumanian I should make the Kustendji 
Canal and snap my fingers at Bessarabia. But they will 
probably prefer to waste their means in making an army 
and a diplomatic body like all the other minor Powers. 

" Nothing could be more remarkable, more refreshing, 
and more satisfactory than the manner in which Lord 
Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury placed their ultimatum, 
and carried their points with unflinching firmness in and 
out of the Congress. 

41 1 felt proud of our diplomacy. 

" Au revoir — soon, I hope. 

" Yours sincerely, 

"Odo Russell." 

In spite of Lord Odo Russell's opinion to the contrary, 
the Roumanians had really very much to complain of. 
The territory of which Russia insisted on depriving them 
formed an integral part of Moldavia ; and those who 
talked of Roumania "giving back" the territory which 
Russia had ceded to Moldavia after the Crimean War 
forgot that Russia had taken this territory from Moldavia 
forty-four years previously, in 1812. One result of 
replacing the Danubian mouths in the hands of Russia 
has been that the Lower Danube is now navigated by 
Russian gunboats which have already paid (1901) an 
unexpected, undesired visit to Galatz. 

When the Berlin Treaty had been signed, and the 
time had come for applying its provisions, Mr. White's 
difficulties, instead of being diminished, were greatly 
increased. The high contracting parties had pledged 
themselves to recognise the independence of Roumania 


on its fulfilling the conditions laid down in the two 
following articles of the treaty : 

"Article XLIV.— In Roumania the difference of 
religious creeds and confessions shall not be alleged 
against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity 
in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political 
rights, admission to public employments, functions, and 
honours, or the exercise of various professions and in- 
dustries in any locality whatsoever. 

"The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of 
worship will be assured to all persons .belonging to the 
Roumanian State, as well as to foreigners, and no hindrance 
shall be offered either to the hierarchical organisation of 
the different communions, oi* to their relations with their 
spiritual chiefs. 

" The nationals of all the Powers, traders or others, shall 
be treated in Roumania without distinction of creed, on 
a footing of perfect equality." 

"Article XLV.— The Principality of Roumania 
restores to His Majesty the Emperor of Russia that 
portion of the Bessarabian Territory detached from Russia 
by the Treaty of Paris in 1856, bounded on the west 
by the waterway of the Pruth, and on the south by 
the waterway of the Kilia Branch and the mouths of 

There were two conditions, moreover, not mentioned 
in the Treaty with which it was absolutely necessary 
that Roumania should comply before her independence 
could be recognised by England, France, Austria, Germany, 
and Italy. She was to refuse to Russia the right of 
military way through the Dobrudja, which that Power 
was demanding, and to accede to certain terms required 
by Prince Bismarck in connection with one of her 

That the situation was serious in regard to the right 
of march through the Dobrudja is shown by documents 
which Mr. White received at this time from the Foreign 


Office. The following memorandum sets forth the views 
entertained by Austria, probably also by England. 

" If Roumania consents to give this right of military 
way, she will in fact be making herself Russia's ally for 
the purpose of carrying into effect the object which this 
demand for military passage must be assumed to contem- 
plate. As this cannot possibly be in harmony with the 
Treaty of Berlin, Roumania is very likely to find herself 
held responsible for the facilities which she is now asked 
to give ; and if the fortune of war should go against Russia, 
it is very likely that European Statesmen will provide 
against any future dangers from Russia's ambition by 
making a new disposition of Roumanian territory. The 
absorption of a considerable portion of it into Hungary 
is not at all impossible. To this danger Roumania will 
have exposed herself if she now makes any arrangement 
with Russia inconsistent with or menacing to the Treaty 
of Berlin. If she refuses to give the required right of 
way, she may yet, when the time comes, find herself too 
weak to resist the demand of Russia. But then she will 
be yielding to force majeure. She will not be an accomplice 
in the guilt ; and if there is punishment, she will not have 
incurred any share in it The commonest prudence ought 
therefore to lead her to keep clear of this quarrel." 

In the first letter of instructions addressed to Mr. White 
after his appointment to Bucharest, Lord Salisbury had 
told him, among other things, to encourage, as much as 
he fairly could the "plucky attitude of Roumania." In 
the next few pages it will be seen what the attitude of 
Roumania really was. 



WHEN the Russian Colossus, attacked in his 
vulnerable heel by England, France, Turkey, and 
Sardinia, with Austria keeping the ground against him 
in the Danubian provinces, was at last compelled to make 
peace, then a small cession of territory was required from 
the wounded and enfeebled giant, not for either of the 
attacking Powers, but for Moldavia ; not so much because 
the Powers which had proved victorious considered 
Moldavia entitled to it (though it had been violently torn 
from her forty-four years before), as because the territory 
demanded back from Russia contained the mouths of the 
Danube, and because Russia had failed to keep these 
mouths open — to the injury and destruction of the 
Hungarian and Moldo-Wallachian corn trade, and to the 
advantage, therefore, of the Russian corn trade and of 

No humiliation was intended towards Russia, and it 
was expressly set forth in the treaty that the cession of 
territory was stipulated for in order that the mouths of 
the Danube might be kept open ; with which object the 
river was placed under the care of a European commission. 

But Russia felt mortified ; and at the Conference of 
Paris, Prince Gortchakoff, present as one of the representa- 
tives of Russia, abstained from putting his name to the 
treaty because in the post he was about to assume — that 



of Minister of Foreign Affairs — he had resolved to make 
it the work of his life to destroy two most obnoxious 
clauses in the treaty: the clause neutralising the Black 
Sea, and the clause ceding the Black Sea districts of 
Bessarabia to Moldavia. This interesting and important 
fact is recorded with some emphasis in the fctude Diplo- 
tnatique sur la Guerre de Crimke % issued by the Russian 
Foreign Office and attributed to Baron Jomini. 

In the series of Acts and Documents, published in 
1893 by the Roumanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
M. Kogolniceano, in reference to the Roumanian War of 
Independence (1877-1878) a conversation between General 
Ignatieff and an unnamed Roumanian diplomatist is 
recorded which shows the view entertained by the 
Emperor, Alexander II., both as to the freedom of the 
Black Sea and the cession of Bessarabia. 

11 Seven years ago/' writes the Roumanian diplomatist, 
" General Ignatieff said to me that in the Treaty of Paris 
there were two blots on the life of Alexander II. — 
the neutralisation of the Black Sea and Bessarabia ; and 
that the Emperor considered himself bound in honour to 
efface them before his death. Later, when the question 
of the Black Sea had been disposed of, General Ignatieff 
said to me, that everything between us had now been 
arranged and that we could henceforth live on friendly 
terms. I reminded him of what he had previously said 
about Bessarabia. 

" ' Yes/ he replied ; ' let us forget it ! Let us say nothing 
about it ! ' " 

The Roumanians, however, bore well in mind the fact 
that Russia wanted back the piece of Bessarabian territory 
on the Black Sea which she had been required to cede to 
Moldavia after the Crimean War ; and they accordingly 
stipulated in the formal convention, signed with Russia 
when the Russians proposed, in 1877, to pass through 


Roumania towards the invasion of Turkey, that, whatever 
might happen, the independence and integrity of Roumania 
should not be interfered with. 

" That no inconvenience and no danger may be caused 
to Roumania," ran the clause dealing with this point, "by 
the passage of Russian troops through her territory, the 
government of His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, 
binds himself to maintain and cause to be respected the 
political rights of the Roumanian State as established by 
internal laws and by existing treaties ; also to maintain 
and defend the actual integrity of Roumania." 

This was explicit enough, and that there should 
be no possibility of any misunderstanding about it, the 
Roumanian Government published the convention in the 
official journal of Bucharest M. Kogolniceano, Roumanian 
Foreign Minister at the time, called attention to it, more- 
over, at every opportunity until at last Baron Stuart, 
Russian Diplomatic Agent at Bucharest, showed some 
irritation and said that to doubt the Emperor's words 
was "an offence to His Majesty." 

The Roumanian Government continued then to hope 
— but with serious misgivings — that the Emperor would 
keep his word. While taking certain precautions for 
the defence of their territory, the Roumanians did not 
engage in hostilities against Turkey until one day a 
message was received by Prince Charles from the Grand- 
Duke Nicholas telling him of the critical position of affairs 
before Plevna, declaring that " Christendom was in danger," 
and calling upon him with or without conditions to hasten 
at once to the assistance of the Faithful. 

Prince Charles did not hesitate. He marched with an 
army of fifty thousand men to the point where help was 
so urgently needed ; and before the combined attack 
of Roumanians and Russians the Plevna fortress fell. A 


year afterwards the Grand-Duke Nicholas, mindful of 
the services rendered by Prince Charles, sent him the 
following telegram : 

"Bobran, 28 September, 1878. Anniversary of the 
memorable day of the battles beneath Plevna, where our 
two armies for the first time fought together under your 
orders and in conjunction took the first redoubt of Gravitza. 
Cannot help testifying to you once more my gratitude 
for all the time during which I had the honour of having 
your young army under my command, which showed 
itself worthy of its young prince who himself led it for 
the first time to its baptism of iron. Allow me, your old 
friend, to embrace you and Elizabeth also with all my 
heart. My compliments to all who remember me." 

The Grand-Duke Nicholas had been unable meanwhile 
to admit Prince Charles to the negotiations on the subject 
of peace ; explaining to him that he himself took no active 
part in them but was obliged to receive all his instructions 
from St. Petersburg. The Treaty of San Stefano gave 
back Roumanian Bessarabia to Russia, the Dobrudja 
being made over to Roumania by way of compensation. 
Roumania, meanwhile, had not been in any way consulted 
about this retrocession, which was obtained direct from 
Turkey — still Roumania's suzerain, but not the owner of 
her soil 

It was necessary to ignore Roumania in the matter, 
it being known beforehand that she would never consent 
to such an act of spoliation which was, moreover, an 
absolute violation of the Russo-Roumanian convention. 

The time having arrived for the Russian Government 
to break the news delicately but seriously to Roumania 
that the convention on the subject of her integrity had 
been set at nought, Baron Jomini took up his best pen 
and addressed to the Roumanian Minister of Foreign 
Affairs a long homily on the merits and advantages of 


acting in good faith, as illustrated by a striking example 
of the contrary practice, borrowed substantially from his 
own Etude Diplomatique sur la Guerre de Critn/e. 
Here is the Baron's first epistle to the Roumanians. 1 

"St. Petersburg, 

"Jan. 17, 1878. 

w I received with much pleasure the telegram from your 
Excellency on the occasion of the 1st of January, and 
I was deeply touched by this mark of your friendly 
recollection. I beg you to accept all my thanks, and 
to believe in my sincere wishes that the year just beginning 
may bring you all possible kinds of prosperity. Amongst 
these wishes I form one that you may succeed in maintain- 
ing and consolidating the good relations which have been 
established between Roumania and Russia, and which 
have been cemented on fields of battle. Many temptations 
will assail you, and crafty endeavours will be made to 
persuade you that in politics perfidy is cleverness. Do 
not believe it. Straightforwardness, good sense, and reason 
are the best and surest guides ; my experience of forty 
years has given me this conviction. This is above all 
applicable to nations. Individuals may sometimes find an 
advantage in duplicity ; but men pass and nations remain. 
Politics are like whist — what one side gains the other 
side loses ; and the losing side desires its revenge. That 
is what statesmen entrusted with the fate of nations too 
often forget. When this desire for revenge is inspired in 
a neighbouring and powerful state, in a state to which 
much is due for the past, and from which there is nothing 
to fear in the future — since it is great enough to have no 
feeling of covetousness, and strong enough not to be in 
a position to desire compensations — then a great fault is 
committed ; for a friend is lost and an enemy created. 
And this fault is greater still when, like you, one is 
surrounded by perils. 

" History is full of testimonies to this truth. Take 
the example of Austria in /54. Admiration has been 
expressed for the Machiavellian cleverness of Count Buol, 
who, without firing a shot, turned us out of the Princi- 
palities, condemning us to an impossible defensive 

1 Actes et Documents, vol. i. t p. 10. Bucharest, 1893. 



attitude, and finally detaching us from the Danube by 
depriving us of a province. 

" Now what came of it all ? Three years after the peace 
Austria lost Lombardy, and, ten years later, her whole 
position in Germany. God preserve Roumania from such 
cleverness as that ! Do not, moreover, allow yourself to be 
deceived by the humbug 1 of neutrality. That of Belgium 
which is preached to you as a model does not rest at all 
on treaties, which in our days are, alas ! but scraps of 
paper. It is guaranteed by the powerful interest of 
England, her neighbour, not to allow a great Power to 
establish itself at Antwerp. 

"In the same way the best guarantee of your neutrality, 
and, above all, of your independence, is the friendship of 
Russia, and the interest she has in so high a degree to 
insure your co-operation in order to maintain the work of 
emancipation she is at this moment accomplishing, in case 
her position should be threatened. Forgive me these 
political digressions. I conclude by asking a favour. 
Having received from H.M. the Emperor his authorisation' 
to accept the decoration which you have sent me on the 
part of Prince Charles, I beg you to be kind enough to 
express to his Highness my profound gratitude. 

"Accept, Excellency, the homage of all my respects, 


The meaning of Baron Jomini's political " digressions " 
was that he advised Roumania to accept willingly the 
retrocession of Bessarabia, and to remain on the best 
terms with Russia in case the Western Powers should 
wish to impede that Power in her " work of emancipation." 
What Russia at this time wanted was not only Bessarabia, 
but also the right of march through the Dobrudja (about 
to be made a Roumanian possession) into Bulgaria; a 
continuous military line, that is to say, from the newly 
acquired Bessarabia to the environs of Adrianople. 

A daring programme, which, however, was to be sub- 
stantially torn up at the Conference of Berlin. 

1 Writing in French, Baron Jomini introduces this word in English. 


The Roumanian Government, in reply, took its stand 
on the Emperor Alexander's promise to respect the in- 
tegrity of Roumania ; and General Prince Ghika, the 
Russian Diplomatic Agent at St Petersburg, was instructed 
to remain firm, and to ascertain from Prince Gortchakoff 
whether the decision of the Russian Government was 
unchangeable on the subject of Bessarabia. 

"Prince Gortchakoff," wrote General Ghika in reply, 
"says that in spite of all our clamour at home and 
abroad Russia's intention will be carried out ; that he 
will not introduce the question at the sittings of the 
Congress because it would be humiliating to the Emperor ; 
that if another Power wished to do so he would not agree 
to it ; that he wishes to treat with us alone ; that if he 
cannot make us give way he will take Bessarabia by force ; 
and that if we should resist by arms such resistance would 
be fatal to Roumania. Nevertheless, we can neither treat 
nor give way, I am now preparing a reply to the Cabinet 
of St. Petersburg which I hope to be able to send you 
to-morrow. 1 

On hearing that Russia would not allow the question 
of Bessarabia to be brought before the Conference of 
Berlin, M. Balaceano, Roumanian Diplomatic Agent at 
Vienna, telegraphed to his Government at Bucharest : 

"The Russian Government is in error. . . . The 
Bessarabian Question will come before the Conference or 
there will be no Conference ; in which case there will be 

It is now said that if the Roumanians had consented 
to treat in a direct manner with Russia, they could have 
had magnificent terms, including a large war indemnity 
and much additional territory. But the whole feeling 
of the country was against the cession, and no minister 
would have dared to propose it 

1 Actts et Documents^ etc., vol. i. t p. 54. Bucharest, 1895. 


Prince Bismarck sent several times to Bucharest 
urging the Roumanians to give way, and assuring them 
that they would have to do so in the end ; but without 

When Prince Bismarck brought the matter before the 
Conference he did so in such an emphatic manner that 
the cession was at once voted. Russia would have to give 
way on so many other points that on this one it was 
thought desirable to meet her wishes. The two Powers 
most likely to take a just view of the matter, France and 
England, agreed reluctantly and almost under protest 
to the retrocession of Bessarabia. M. Waddington 
remarked that Roumania was being treated "rather 
hardly/' and Lord Beaconsfield in giving his consent 
said he did so "with regret." 

When at last Roumania was formally called upon by 
the Russian Agent at Bucharest to make over the territory 
which as one of the conditions of her independence the 
Conference had summoned her to give up, she still refused 
until the authorisation of the Roumanian Parliament should 
have been obtained. The cession was of course voted. 
What had been refused to Russian dictation was accorded 
to the representations of the European Powers. 

But the exactions of Russia were not yet at an end, 
and once more an attempt was made to bully Roumania 
into subservience. The rude messages on these occasions 
were sent by Prince Gortchakoff ; the polite ones, modify- 
ing in some degree the offensiveness of his chief, by the 
always amiable Baron Jomini. 

In addition to the Bessarabian districts on the Black 
Sea, Russia acquired by Article 8 of the Treaty of San 
Stefano the right of marching troops during a period of 
two years through Roumania into Bulgaria ; which, as 
before said, would have enabled the Russians to keep up 


a direct line of military communication between Russia 
and Bulgaria — the Bulgaria of the San Stefano Treaty 
extending in one direction to the neighbourhood of 
Adrianople, in another to the shores of the jEgean. 

The Roumanians objected strongly to the right of 
march through Roumania, feeling that the two years' 
occupation might easily degenerate into a permanent one 

Informed of this, Prince Gortchakoff sent for General 
Ghika, and on his arrival said to him : 

" Is it true that your Government means to protest 
against the eighth article of the Treaty of San Stefano 
which reserves to the Army of Bulgaria its communications 
with Russia through Roumania ? If the Emperor, already 
ill-disposed towards you on account of your attitude on 
the Bessarabian Question, learnt that any such declaration 
had been made he would lose all patience. He has 
commissioned me to tell you, for communication to your 
Government, that if you have any intention of protesting 
against or of opposing the Article in question he will have 
Roumania occupied and the Roumanian Army disarmed." 

General Ghika expressed his astonishment at receiving 
such a message, and promised to communicate at once 
with his Government ; who replied, that an arrangement 
made with Turkey could not Be binding on Roumania, 
and, in regard to Prince GortchakofFs threats, u that the 
Roumanian Army might be crushed, but would never allow 
itself to be disarmed." 

Prince Gortchakoff in his Babylonian haughtiness had 
now made two mistakes, by which Roumania with 
her skilful and courageous diplomacy was not slow to 
profit. He had previously declared that Russia would 
not allow the Bessarabian Question to be brought before 
the Conference ; and he now threatened that if Roumania 
objected to the continued passage of Russian troops 


during a period of two years through Roumania and 
the Dobrudja he would occupy Roumania and disarm the 
Roumanian Army. 

By telegraphing to their diplomatic agents in the chief 
European capitals, the Roumanian Government ascer- 
tained that Russia would be obliged, if peace was to be 
preserved, to submit the Bessarabian Question to the 
Conference ; and they now learned that Roumania would 
be supported in her refusal to recognise the two years' 
right of march claimed by Russia through Roumania and 
the Dobrudja. The Roumanians, however, had taken up 
their ground boldly from the first without knowing on 
either point whether they would be supported or not 

The insulting threat not merely to attack and possibly 
vanquish the Roumanian Army, but to " disarm " it, did 
not leave the valiant Prince Charles unmoved. He sent 
for the Russian Agent, Baron Stuart, to the Palace 
and in reference to Prince GortchakofTs menaces said 
to him : 

"Russia must not forget that there is a Hohenzollern 
on the throne of Roumania, and that he commands an 
army which will do its duty towards the throne and 
towards the country." 

A circular despatch from M. Kogolniceano to the 
Roumanian Diplomatic Agents, reporting the interview 
between Prince Charles and the Russian Diplomatic 
Agent, ended with these words : " Measures are being 
taken for rendering the menaced attack a costly one to 
its authors." 

Prince Gortchakoff, having threatened not only to 
seize Bessarabia, but in case of resistance to take possession 
of all Roumania, Baron Jomini wrote to General Ghika, 
explaining that " His Majesty's intentions would only 
be carried out in case of certain eventualities," and 


recommending him to telegraph at once to Bucharest 
desiring that "nothing should be done until his return/' 

Baron Jomini, however, could not with such a chief 
keep up his conciliatory attitude very long ; and, in 
answer to a request from General Ghika for an audience 
from Prince Gortchakoff, he wrote that "the Prince 
Chancellor was so much occupied that it was quite im- 
possible for him to make an appointment His Highness/ 1 
continued the latter, " begs you to send your communica- 
tion to M. de Giers, who in due time will inform you of 
the answer, should there be one." 

This was extremely discourteous ; but all talk about 
occupying Roumania and disarming its brave troops was 
at an end. 

Prince Gortchakoff wished now to escape from the 
awkward position in which he had placed himself by his 
declaration that he would never allow the Bessarabian 
Question to be brought before the Conference. News 
of this declaration had at once been flashed by General 
Ghika from St Petersburg to Bucharest, and by M. 
Kogolniceano from Bucharest to all the European capitals. 
Prince Gortchakoff heard of it on all sides, and was 
enraged. It was the insolence of the Roumanian diplo- 
matists in taking advantage of his declaration and wiring 
it all over Europe that above all excited his wrath. 
He had evidently intended General Ghika and his govern- 
ment to keep it to themselves. He now informed General 
Ghika that he did not recollect saying anything of the 
kind ; when the Roumanian Agent assured him in return 
that he had made a note of the conversation immedi- 
ately afterwards, and had at once despatched its substance 
to Bucharest. 

M. Novikoff, too, at Vienna was instructed to deny 
the reports circulated by the Roumanians as to Prince 


GortchakoflPs threats, which, said M. Novikoff, "had 
been invented by the Roumanian Government in order 
to raise up a feeling in Europe against Russia." 

" This accusation," wrote M. Kogolniceano to the agent 
at Vienna, "is a very grave one. I therefore declare to 
you, and I beg you to declare on your side that, accord- 
ing to an official despatch from General Ghika, Prince 
Gortchakoff threatened to occupy the country on a more 
extended scale, and to disarm the Roumanian Army in 
case we protested against Article 8 of the Treaty of San 
Stefano. I will send you a copy of this despatch and 
of a letter which Jomini afterwards addressed to General 
Ghika, in order to attenuate a little the effect of the 

M. de Giers, too, had an interview with General Ghika 
on the subject of Prince GortchakoflPs menaces, in which 
the future Foreign Minister made some curious suggestions 
as to the possible significance and value of diplomatic 

" Prince Gortchakoff did not," said M. de Giers, " wish 
to deny General Ghika's assertions. But His Highness," 
he continued, " may have used words which do not quite 
express his thoughts, or which are contrary to them" 
("des mots qui rendent mal ses pensles ou qui leur 
sont contraires "). x 

Finding that the Roumanians persisted in their protest 
against the Russian Convention with Turkey authorising 
the passage of Russian troops through Roumania, Prince 
Gortchakoff sent a special agent to Bucharest in order 
to conclude a new convention with Roumania herself. 

But the Roumanians still argued that a two years' 
occupation might easily become a permanent one. Nor 
could any Government retain power in Roumania which 
consented to such a humiliation. They continued there- 

1 AcUs et Documents, vol. L, p. 105. Bucharest, 1893. 

1878] A COMPROMISE 153 

fore to protest ; and they were saved some natural 
anxiety on this head through being informed at Viefina 
by Count Andrassy on the part of Austria-Hungary, 
and by Sir Henry Elliot on the part of England, that 
neither of these Powers would consent to Russia's being 
allowed a military passage through Roumania. M. 
Balaceano, the Roumanian Agent at Vienna, was struck 
by the fact that the assurances on this point given to 
him by Count Andrassy and Sir Henry Elliot were in 
almost identical language. 

Ultimately Russia had to give way in regard to the 
military communications between Russia and Bulgaria 
through Roumania. The right of passage, however, was 
authorised by the Conference for a single year. Roumania, 
at the same time, by decision of the Conference, and as 
one of the conditions of her independence, surrendered 
to Russia that portion of Bessarabia on the' Black Sea 
coast which had been detached from Russia and annexed 
to Moldavia by the Treaty of Paris ; receiving by 
way of compensation the Dobrudja. Prince Bismarck is 
known to have settled the Bessarabian matter by a few 
emphatic words in which he pointed out, besides other 
reasons, that Russia, victorious in her recent campaign, 
felt deeply on that particular point and that her feelings 
ought to be respected. 

Not so the feelings of Roumania, who had also been 
victorious and, moreover, had saved Russia from defeat. 
But great Powers feel more strongly than small ones. 

It was in connection with the Bessarabian Question 
alone that Prince Bismarck justified a boast he had 
recently made to the effect that he was the Conference. 

Before the Conference assembled the Roumanian agent 
at Berlin, M. Varnac, wrote, April 23, 1878, to Bucharest 
that, in the course of a conversation he had had the night 



before with Lord Odo Russell, the British Ambassador 
had said that up to the present time, Prince Bismarck had 
done nothing in connection with the Eastern Question 
but utter mots. 

"He has just made one/' added Lord Odo, "which 
surpasses all the others." In memory of Louis XIV. he 
said just as he was starting for the country, " Le congr&s 
c'est moil" 

"I replied that I had read a few days before, in the 
Dibats an article which cited all the Chancellor's bans mots 
in reference to the Eastern Question and showed that 
not one of them had hit the mark. I added that I 
hoped the latest would have the same fate as the others, 
and that England also would be the Congress." 

" England will be listened to or there will be war," 
said the Ambassador. " But I think," he added, " that 
things will be arranged pacifically and that they will 
end well for you and for all Europe." 

Like so many great men, Prince Bismarck suffered 
at times from what is called in the language of science 
"megalomania," and in American slang, "swelled head." 
If at the Conference at Berlin he made himself the 
mouthpiece of Russia and claimed for her the retro- 
cession of Bessarabia, he did so because he knew that 
Alexander II. had declared that he regarded the loss of 
Bessarabia as one of the two " blots " on his reign which 
he was bound to efface. Prince Gortchakoff wiped out 
one of them when, towards the end of the Franco-German 
War, he procured by the Treaty of London the aboli- 
tion of the clause in the Treaty of Paris forbidding Russia, 
equally with Turkey, to build ships on the Black Sea. 
Yet Prince Bismarck ended by persuading himself that 
the idea of destroying the neutralisation clause was his 
own particular conception originated at a critical moment 


in order to render it impossible for England to come 
diplomatically or otherwise to the aid of her Crimean 

Prince Gortchakoff, however, could have said with truth 
that the destruction of the Black Sea clause was the 
object held immediately in view by Russia from the very 
beginning of the Franco-German War, and that Prussia's 
assistance towards that end was the price paid for 
Russia's more than benevolent neutrality at the outset 
of the campaign, when the attitude of Austria was still 

On being sent to Bucharest, Mr. White as we have seen 
had been instructed among other things to do all he fairly 
could to encourage " the plucky attitude of Roumania." 
This attitude, approved equally by France and by England, 
had inspired him with sympathy and admiration when he 
was still at Belgrade. The only service he could render to 
the Roumanians he certainly did render, by keeping his 
Government fully informed as to their perilous situation ; 
in which their attitude was more than "plucky": it 
was heroic. 



THE trials of Roumania were far from being at an 
end. In recognising Roumanian independence 
the Conference had stipulated as a condition that 
Roumanian Jews should be admitted to the same 
rights as Roumanians in general. This stipulation filled 
the Roumanians with dismay ; and the reply made by the 
Government, the Parliament, and the people was succinctly 
that there was no such thing as a u Roumanian Jew/' 
and that, to require the admission of three hundred 
thousand foreigners (four hundred thousand, according to 
some estimates) of the same race and religion to the rights 
of Roumanian citizens with whom they had nothing in 
common — neither language, nor traditions, nor sympathy, 
nor aspirations — was to demand an injustice and an 

" Better go on paying tribute to the Turks," wrote 
M. Kogolniceano, Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he 
first heard of the conditions on which Roumanian inde- 
pendence was to be recognised. 

" Better make terms with Russia than have the Jews 
imposed upon us," said to me, some time later, another 
Roumanian Minister. 

No foreigner Miad ever acquired Roumanian nationality 
by simply "giving himself the trouble to be born" in 
Roumania. The rights of Roumanian citizenship were 
only for Roumanians of Roumanian blood ; and it had 



always been made an object of the first importance to 
preserve the purity of the race, since Roumania was 
surrounded and frequently traversed by populations of 
the most diverse origins. 

In 1848, when Moldavia and Wallachia were occupied by 
a combined Russian and Turkish Army, Count Nesselrode, 
the Russian Foreign Minister of those days, sent out a 
circular in which, by way of destroying all claims on the 
part of Roumanians to serious consideration, he declared 
that their national origin had been "lost in the night 
of ages." 1 

After his arrival then at Bucharest, one of Mr. White's 
first and most important duties was to study the Jewish 
Question and report upon it to his Government ; and 
without allowing himself to be misled by the usual 
commonplaces on the subject of religious equality, he at 
once saw how important it was for Roumania, hemmed 
in by dangerous enemies, to entrust her Government 
exclusively to Roumanians. 

He showed that Roumanian nationality had never been 
acquired by the accident of being born on Roumanian 
territory, nor even by prolonged residence in the country ; 
and that, except in cases of special service to the 
community or to the Government, it had always been 
confined to persons of Roumanian t blood. The Jews were 
excluded from Roumanian citizenship less as Jews than 
as aliens; just as Ottomans were excluded less as 
Mahometans than as Turks. 

Mr. White's views on this point were partly set forth 
in the following letter to the Marquess of Salisbury : 

" My Lord, 

w With reference to the programme for the solution 
of the Jewish Question, taking special categories as a basis, 

1 Actes et Documents, etc. Bucharest, 1893. 


and including a qualification depending on taxation of 
urban property, the objection made by public men here 
rests on the results to which it would lead in many of the 
towns of Moldavia, where persons of the Jewish creed 
constitute one half of the population. 

"Some data on this subject accompany my despatch 
of the 28 March of this year to your Lordship, and it 
appears from statistical returns, that, out of one hundred 
births in the districts there referred to 47 J per cent were 
of Jewish children. 

" It is asserted that the admission of so many persons 
of that creed at Jassy and other boroughs to the franchise, 
would inevitably lead to the return to the Roumanian 
Chambers of members linked together by the tie of a 
community of creed and race, who, though not numerous, 
would hold in comparatively small assemblies a position 
somewhat similar, but in reality much more prejudicial 
to that occupied by the Home Rule faction in the House 
of Commons. And there is evidence that the feeling 
against any proposal likely to modify the electoral regis- 
tration in Moldavia in this sense is so intense that the 
objections to extending the categories so as to include 
the qualifications under Sections 6 and 7 of the memor- 
andums appear insurmountable. 

" This has become still more apparent since two of the 

eading Bucharest journals, the Roumania Libera and the 

Bien Public have printed the programme, inclusive of 

these two categories, so as to irritate and prejudice the 

public mind against the ministerial scheme." 

In regard to the Bessarabian Question an attempt was 
now made to cause a false impression in the minds of the 
representatives assembled at Berlin by spreading reports 
as to the non-Roumanian character of the Bessarabian 
districts of which Russia demanded the retrocession. It 
is recorded in the Roumanian Acts and Documents that 
one of the German delegates, Herr von Billow, asked a 
Roumanian diplomatist " with a smile " whether it was 
true that when in 181 2 the districts in question passed 
for the first time into the hands of Russia, they were 
"inhabited by wandering tribes." 


Besides being seriously menaced by Russia,, the Rou- 
manian Government was a good deal annoyed during the 
period that followed the signing of the Treaty of San 
Stefano by the arrogance of the Russian Diplomatic 
Agent at Bucharest, Baron Stuart 

To celebrate the making of peace, he took upon him- 
self to order a Te Deutn in one of the Roumanian 
churches, and at the last moment — twelve o'clock on the 
night before the appointed thanksgiving service, invited 
M. Bratiano to attend. 

M. Bratiano replied that Baron Stuart had taken a 
great liberty in ordering a thanksgiving service in the 
capital of the foreign country to which he was accredited ; 
and that Roumania, which had not been consulted about 
the conditions of peace, and which strongly objected to 
many of them, had nothing to return thanks for. 

The liveliness of the situation in the Balkan Peninsula 
had been much increased by the creation of the Princi- 
pality of Bulgaria ; which, though its territory had been 
diminished at Berlin by about two-thirds, was none the 
less in want of a prince ; for, whatever satirical poets 
and cynical philosophers may say to the contrary, a 
crown, even in the Balkan Peninsula, is still a most 
attractive object. 

Bismarck had told Prince Charles of Hohenzollern in 
1866, when he was hesitating whether or not to ascend 
the throne of Roumania, that to have reigned even for 
a short time in that apparently unstable land would 
always be "a souvenir for his old age." 

To begin the monarchical career, even as a vassal 
prince in what the late Lord Strangford used to call " the 
E.C. district of Europe," was sufficiently tempting ; for the 
vassal might become independent and the prince a king. 


The candidates for the throne of Bulgaria were only 
too numerous. Members of the great reigning houses 
were excluded from the competition ; and it was tolerably 
certain that the actual rulers of the various Balkan 
States, each anxious for an increase of power, would 
not be encouraged. Prince Nikita, of Montenegro, how- 
ever, was ready to mount the untrodden steps of the 
Bulgarian throne ; and equally so were Prince Milan, of 
Servia, and even Prince Charles, of Roumania. Never 
would the Russians have accepted Prince Charles, of 
Roumania, already chief of the one powerful state in the 
Balkan Peninsula. 

It was rumoured, indeed, that they would possibly 
force Prince Charles to abdicate and then seize and 
annex the whole of Moldavia, as they had already taken 
possession of that much-coverted corner of Moldavian 
territory on the Black Sea. 

Bratiano, the eminent Roumanian statesman, had 
assured Sir Henry Layard at Constantinople (who com- 
municated the information by letter to Sir William White) 
that " the existence of his country was threatened, 19 though 
whether by Austria or by Russia he could not say. 
Possible the menace came from Russia and Austria 
simultaneously if not in combination ; one to take Moldavia, 
the other Wallachia. 

Meanwhile, England had engaged to back up France on 
the Jewish Question ; and Germany was with them both. 

Italy was less pronounced in regard to the Jews than 
the three Western Powers ; but she gave them her 

Austria cared very little for the Jews ; Russia nothing ; 
Turkey less than nothing. 

As for the Bessarabian territory on the Black Sea, 

1878] THE IRON WAY 161 

Russia had sworn to retake it, and every one knew she 
would somehow get hold of it 

There was also the railway bill which Prince Bismarck 
wished the Roumanian Chambers to pass in an amended 
form, so as to give special advantages to German share- 
holders and German directors; and it was well under- 
stood that though there was nothing about this in the 
Berlin Treaty, it would be necessary all the same to 
carry out Prince Bismarck's wishes. 

To avoid, then, all chance of being partitioned, and 
to enjoy the honour of no longer being considered a 
vassal state, which, as a matter of fact, she had ceased 
to be, Roumania had to make concessions to the Jews, 
to give up Roumanian Bessarabia to the Russians (in 
exchange for the Dobrudja), and to let the man of iron 
have his own iron way about the iron road. 




TOWARDS the end of 1878, Sir Henry Elliot re- 
ceived many inquiries from the Roumanian Agent 
in the Austrian capital, M. Balaceano, as to whether and 
when his government would recognise the Independence 
of Roumania. There was of course only one answer : 
" As soon as Roumania executes the conditions of the 
Treaty of Berlin.* 

"When I was at Berlin," wrote Sir Henry Elliot to 

Mr. White, " I asked Lord whether it was intended 

that if Roumania did not fulfil the conditions she should 
be considered as still under the suzerainty of the Sultan ; 
but I got no very distinct answer." 

The question put by Sir Henry Elliot was indeed a 
poser. What a grotesque situation would have been 
created if England and the other Powers had insisted on 
regarding Roumania as still under the suzerainty of the 
Sultan when the Sultan had already surrendered his 
suzerain rights I Roumania was de facto independent 
from the moment that her independence was recognised 
by the Porte. 

Soon afterwards the Roumanian Agent at Vienna con- 
sulted Sir Henry Elliot about a matter of more pressing 
and more substantial importance than even the recognition 
of Roumanian independence. 



" Two days ago," wrote Sir Henry Elliot (Nov. 3, 1878), 
to Mr. White, " Balaceano asked me whether the conclu- 
sion of a Convention allowing Russia passage for her 
troops through the Dobrudja, would be contrary to the 
Treaty of Berlin. I told him that whether it would be 
regarded as an active violation of the Treaty or not, the 
Powers which decided on the Dobrudja being made 
over to Roumania had certainly not intended that it 
should become practically Russian territory for military 
purposes. I added also that if in the spring we should be 
involved in hostilities with Russia on questions arising out 
of the Treaty of Berlin, and found that Russian troops and 
supplies were allowed free passage through Roumanian 
territory, I believed H.M. Government would feel justi- 
fied in taking any steps towards the Principality that 
our interests might seem to call for. If it suited us to 
look upon Roumania as an ally of our enemy for afford- 
ing those facilities, she must be prepared for the con- 
sequences. I gather from Balaceano that some of the 
ministers are inclined to yield to the Russian demand, 
and I thought it might be useful to say very openly that 
they would run the risk of finding themselves in hot water 
with us." 

Sir Henry Elliot now wrote to Lord Salisbuly about 
the Russian demand, and informed Mr. White of what 
he had done in the following letter: 

" Pbsth, 
"Nov. 17, 1878, 

11 Dear Mr. White, 

" I send you the copy of despatch to Lord Salisbury 
about the Military Convention. Nothing can be more 
satisfactory than Count Andrassy's language ; and Bala- 
ceano, whom I saw this evening, is delighted. It seems 
to me an impossibility that the Russians can insist ; and 
there is nothing that the Roumanians need be frightened 
about, for the immediate possession of the Dobrudja is 
not a matter of life and death to them ; so that I hope 
they will turn a deaf ear to all the invitations of their 
troublesome neighbour. 

" Yours sincerely, 

M Henry Elliot." 

164 ROUMANIA IN 1878 [Ch. XI 

In the Acts and Documents relating to the Roumanian 
War of Independence, published by the Roumanian 
Foreign Office, it is interesting to read a letter from Mr. 
Balaceano which is in exact accordance with the above 
letters from Sir Henry Elliot The Roumanian Diplomatic 
Agent at Vienna was much struck by the fact that Count 
Andrassy and Sir Henry Elliot told him in almost identical 
terms that Roumania might meet the Russian demand 
with a direct refusal, and that, whether she refused or not, 
the desired right of march through the Dobrudja would 
not be permitted. 

In the autumn of 1878 Mr. White was still without 
credentials, and uncertain as to what rank would be 
definitely assigned to him in connection with his new 
appointment Roumania, however, was sure eventually 
to be acknowledged as an independent kingdom ; and 
the representative now sent to the Roumanian Court 
by Austria, held the rank of " Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary." 

On August 22, Sir Henry Elliot wrote to Mr. White 
in these terms: 

" I telegraphed yesterday to Lord Salisbury at the 
same time as to you, saying that Count Hojos was 
going to be sent from here to Bucharest with the rank 
of Envoy, which he already had been holding at Wash- 
ington ; and as I cannot for a moment suppose that 
there can be any hesitation about giving you a position 
equal to that of your colleague, I hope soon to be able 
to congratulate you upon an appointment of the same 
rank. Gould probably told you, as he did me, that 
Lord Salisbury was thinking of deferring his nomina- 
tion till the passing of the law establishing full religious 
equality in Servia, which is one of the conditions on 
which the independence of the two Principalities was 
to be acknowledged. But I am not aware whether he 
proposed to follow the same course towards Roumania. 


In any case, Count Andrassy does not appear disposed 
to do so; and I expect Count Hojos* appointment to 
be made very soon." 

" I should be very glad," added Sir Henry, " if I could 
think there was any chance of a modification in favour 
of Roumania being made in the Dobrudja frontier as 
decided at Berlin ; but there is little likelihood that 
Russia would agree to one. I should have liked to see 
Silistria left to Roumania, and the line drawn from 
there to Baltchik, but nothing of the sort is now possible. 
The retrocession of Bessarabia is a bad job for Europe, as 
well as for Roumania. 

" But I cannot, for the life of me, expend an ounce of 
pity on the Prince or his Government for having to give 
it up, as they knew from the very first they would have 
to do so, and they were perfectly well known to be ready 
to give that or almost anything else for the sake of the 
independence that they were aiming at. They could 
not be expected to try to resist Russia or to side with 
the Porte. But by maintaining a neutrality they would 
have acquired a claim to the consideration of the Powers, 
which they chose to sacrifice by taking part in the War ; 
and their proclamation of their independence put them 
entirely out of court as regards any appeal to the 
treaties. The only matter on which I think the Rou- 
manians have a right to feel sore is that all the European 
Governments should have lent their weight to Russia 
in obliging them to give way, by making the recognition 
of the independence of the Principality conditional upon 
the cession demanded by their inconvenient ally. This 
was certainly going further than I liked to see in sup- 
porting a detestable act of spoliation, and it may well 
make the Roumanians feel sore. 

"The Austrian Government are disposed to be very 
conciliatory towards the Roumanians ; and, as we no 
doubt shall wish to be the same, the two Governments 
ought to be able to pull well together. 

"Yours sincerely, 

"Henry Elliot." 

Sir Henry Elliot took a genuine interest in the Jewish 
Question, and though the Government to which he was 
accredited cared little or nothing about it, he wrote 

166 ROUMANIA IN 1878 [Ch. XI 

frequently to Mr. White for information with respect to 
the disabilities weighing upon the Jews of Roumania, and 
the various means of relief proposed. 

The Roumanian dialectics on the subject were, however, 
difficult to follow ; and the paradoxical declaration that 
there was not, never had been, and never could be, a 
11 Roumanian Jew," and that the term was an illogical 
name for an inconceivable thing must have stopped 
many a student at the very threshold of the inquiry. 

To Mr. White belongs the honour of having explained 
to the Western mind, that, though it was in the very re- 
motest degree possible that a Roumanian might become 
a Jew, yet that it was quite impossible for a Jew to 
become a Roumanian. 

In a despatch on this subject to Lord Salisbury, Mr 
White set forth that by the ancient laws of the country 
those only were Roumanians who could establish their 
Roumanian descent ; children born in Roumania of foreign 
parents not being Roumanians unless in virtue of special 
letters of naturalisation. 

A commission of Roumanian deputies, appointed to 
study and report on the Jewish Question, made in the 
first article of their report the following statement : 

" Roumanian Jews have never existed, but only in- 
digenous Jews ; that is to say, born in Roumania without, 
for that reason, resembling Roumanians either by language, 
manners and customs, or aspirations." 

The Commission declared, moreover, that the simple 
fact of having been born on Roumanian territory had 
never, according to the most ancient laws and traditions, 
conferred in itself Roumanian nationality ; " and the case," 
it added, "remains the same even when birth has been 
followed by permanent domicile or long residence ; this 


principle having been adopted and maintained for national 
reasons alone, and in no way through feelings of religious 

Placed in the way of Tartars, Turks, Slavonians, 
Magyars, Gipsies, and Jews, the Roumanians, unless by 
rigid means they guarded the preservation of their own 
nationality, did indeed run the risk of being swamped by 
the influx of foreign races. 

The Commision recommended, however, that naturalisa- 
tion should be accorded 'to all foreigners applying for it 
apart from religious considerations ; but always individually 
and in each case by a special legislative act. 

Count Andrassy, who knew from his own experience 
in Austria and Hungary by what difficulties the Jewish 
Question was surrounded, thought the Roumanians were 
doing all that could be expected of them ; and this opinion 
he communicated to Sir Henry Elliot at Vienna. 

Among the letters addressed to Mr. White at Bucharest, 
those of Sir Henry Elliot were very numerous ; and during 
the autumn and winter of 1878 the British Ambassador 
at Vienna was certainly not suffering from the malady 
described by Sir Robert Morier as u graphophoby." 

"The German Ambassador/' he wrote (February 16, 
1 879)1 "i s very hostile to Roumania in his language, and 
has told the Austrians that his Government do not re- 
cognise the right of Prince Charles's Government to make 
any claim in virtue of the Treaty of Berlin, till they have 
themselves fulfilled the conditions laid on them by the 
Congress. The different Governments have shown them- 
selves ignorant of the difficulties that surround the 
Jewish Question ; but the Roumanians cannot be acquitted 
of having allowed much time to pass without taking a step 
to put themselves in the right ; and they now feel the ill 
effects of their hesitation." 

The Roumanians had decided from the first not to 

168 ROUMANIA IN 1878 [Ch. XI 

place their three hundred thousand Jews (born as regards 
a large majority beyond the Roumanian frontiers) on 
an equality with Roumanians of Roumanian blood ; and 
by the spring of 1879 Lord Salisbury seems to have 
been much troubled by their obvious unwillingness to 
comply with Article 44 of the Berlin Treaty. Bismarck 
did not regard their concessions as at all adequate ; 
while M. Waddington, from whom, as from Prince 
Bismarck, Lord Salisbury was most unwilling to sepa- 
rate himself, thought the treatment of the Jewish 
Question by the Roumanians "unworthy of them and 
of the Treaty." 

" The present state of the Roumano-Jewish Question/ 
wrote Lord Salisbury to Mr. White (March 12, 1879), "is 
unsatisfactory enough. I gather from your last despatches 
that even the admission of native born Jews is more than 
can be expected of the Roumanian legislature, while it 
is certainly the very least the Berlin Treaty can be held 
to mean. Neither Paris nor Berlin can be moved a 
hair's breadth lower than that ; indeed, Bismarck can 
scarcely be induced to go so low. To emphasise his 
hatred of Roumania the more clearly, he has recently 
proposed to recognise Servia. We have consented, but 
have explicitly reserved to ourselves liberty to recognise 
Roumania as soon as she has placed herself in the position 
which Servia now occupies. Whether we shall do so or 
not must depend certainly on the question whether there 
is any fair probability of the legislative assembly acting 
up to the stipulations of the Treaty. 

"Your credentials as Minister Plenipotentiary go out 
by this messenger, so that you may be ready to present 
them when we telegraph to that effect" 

As it was impossible to force the Roumanian Chambers 
to adopt a legislation contrary to the interests and 
quite out of harmony with the feelings of the nation, 
Mr. White's credentials had to remain in his drawer 
unpresented for another year. 


Meanwhile, Lord Salisbury continued to write to 
him about the eternal, insoluble Jewish Question. He 
was animated by the best wishes towards the new 
kingdom. But at Berlin he had been fortunate enough, 
in opposition to all probability, to secure the support 
on vital questions at once of France and of Germany, 
and he now felt bound to conform as much as possible 
to the wishes of those two Powers : to let Bismarck 
have his own way about the railway job, and France 
hers about the Jews. 

For several months the great danger against which 
the English Government had to guard was that Russia 
should be able to divide the other Powers. If she had 
succeeded in doing so she would not have left the 
Balkan Peninsula peaceably. Therefore, it was of im- 
portance to keep well with Germany and France — and 
especially France ; and both these Powers for some reason 
or other thought fit to attach a special importance 
to the Jewish Question. It was more necessary to 
keep the line unbroken in face of Russia than to con- 
ciliate the people of Roumania. 

"My dear Mr. White," wrote Lord Salisbury on this 
very point (December 4, 1879), "I can but offer you my 
commiseration at the part we are compelled to assign to 
you. In most games of chess some piece has to be 
sacrificed ; and you are the selected victim in this case. 

"Bismarck has behaved very well to us about Egypt, 
and very fairly about Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula ; 
and he has a right to claim our acquiescence in a matter 
which is less essential to our interests. I have no doubt 
that — balancing losses and gains — it is our policy to 
humour him in this Roumanian matter. But I am not 
surprised that you should ardently wish to bring this 
unpleasant state of transition to a close." 

11 It is a melancholy conclusion to come to," wrote an 
eminent diplomatist to Mr. White about this time, 



" but I believe it to be sound— that none of the greater 
Powers take Roumania as serious. They look upon it 
as good exercising-ground for the autumn manoeuvres of 
diplomacy/ 1 continues the writer ; " but they think, or at 
least act, as if they thought the present state of things 
not permanent. What each of them expects to see take 
its place I have no means of guessing. Bismarck in his 
curiously frank conversation treated it as a mystery and a 
puzzle ; but the story which went the round of the papers, 
that he recommended Prince Alexander to accept Bul- 
garia 'as a souvenir for his old age/ was really true of 
Prince Charles of Roumania— at least, B. told me so at 
Berlin. All his conduct looks like it, he cannot really 
believe in the permanence of a nation he treats in such 
a fashion. 

"The same listless feeling seems in their several ways 
to prevail in both Austrian and Russian policy when 
Roumania is in question. But what do they contem- 
plate doing with her? I do not pretend to guess. But 
in the present state of Europe the Roumanians must, 
I fear, accustom their palates to the occasional taste of 
humble pie." 

Meanwhile Mr. White endeavoured to sec things from 
the Roumanian standpoint, so as at least to be able to 
understand them ; and his despatches on the various 
questions which had to be decided before the independence 
of Roumania could be recognised are full of explanations 
as to this view and that view as held by Roumanian 

In spite of the awkwardness of his position, it was 
only in an official sense that he was at all out of place. 
He had been glad to get away from Warsaw, where his 
impartiality and sense of justice exposed him to suspicions 
alike from the Russians and from the Poles. At Dantzic 


his official duties had been only those of a commercial 
consul ; though it has been seen that he also occupied 
himself, by the express wish of the Foreign Office, with 
work of a highly varied political kind. At Belgrade 
he made but a short stay ; and both politically and 
socially the place possessed far less importance, far less 
interest for him than Bucharest. 

In the Roumanian capital he made many friends, and 
he took particular delight in the society of the King 
and Queen, for whom he entertained the highest respect, 
the sincerest admiration. 



THE war of 1877 was in many ways a severe 
trial to Roumania, but one which she managed 
to support. 

M It is really a wonder," wrote Mr. White from Bucharest 
to Lord Salisbury, " that Roumania was able to emerge so 
satisfactorily from all her complications, and to meet the 
increasing claims on her public purse without having had 
to submit, at that critical juncture of her modern history, 
to the onerous terms of a loan. The unfunded debt 
was alone increased, and the country was thus enabled 
to continue to pay without interruption the interest and 
annuities due to her foreign and domestic creditors — a 
circumstance which produced, as it invariably does, a 
naturally increased confidence on the principal exchanges 
of Europe, where Roumanian stock has acquired a degree 
of firmness not possessed by some larger states." 

With all the interest he took in the country, Mr. White 
still held no official position in Roumania. His friends 
could scarcely make it out ; and even the most exalted 
members of the diplomatic service wondered why the 
M Agent " (as Lord Lyons calls him in one of his des- 
patches of this period) remained without definite rank. 

Unable to stand it any longer, the functionaries of 
the Foreign Office named him " Minister " of their own 

"As I see some packets from the F. O. addressed to 



you as Minister," wrote Sir Henry Elliot on April 12, 
1879, "I hope I may congratulate you at last on having 
your frontier regularised. I don't know that much has 
been gained by the long hesitation in recognising, or that 
there is any great prospect of a real relief of the Jews 
from their disabilities ; for if those born in the country 
are not to be entitled to be treated as Roumanians, the 
mere repeal of the obnoxious article of the constitution 
[setting forth that the privileges of a Roumanian are 
confined to Christians] will have little effect." 

Sir Henry Elliot's congratulations were premature. Mr. 
White (though he had his credentials carefully locked up 
in his drawer) was still unaccredited, still without definite 

A few months afterwards M. Boeresco was despatched 
from Rou mania to enlighten the Ministers of foreign lands 
on the subject of the Jewish Question — or, perhaps, to 
obscure their views, already far from lucid. 

M I am afraid," wrote Sir Henry Elliot on this subject, 
August 11, 1879, "there is no great prospect of much 
coming out of this journey of M. Boeresco, whose object 
is apparently to recede from an essential part of Stourdza's 
project He says that under his nominal list of Jews to 
be emancipated more will be benefited than would have 
been under the categories ; but at the same time he 
admitted to me that the Government could carry the 
present proposal because the Chamber imagined that it 
would apply to fewer. Lord Salisbury has telegraphed to 
me to let Boeresco know that not much could be gained 
by his going to London — first, because he would probably 
himself be away, and also because his propositions seem 
so unsatisfactory that they would produce no result." 

"The Germans are very much put out with the 
Roumanian Government," wrote Sir Henry Elliot, 
December 16, 1879, "for having as they consider, broken 
faith about the Railway Bill, by accepting the exclusion of 
the agreement by which the transfer of the seat of adminis- 
tration from Berlin to Bucharest can only take place, 
on its being sanctioned at a general meeting of the 


shareholders; and without such sanction they declare 
that the transfer cannot legally be made. The recognition 
will consequently be again delayed as far as Germany 
is concerned ; but I cannot at all guess the course that our 
Government will now take. It was intelligible that all 
the Powers should agree to defer the recognition till they 
were satisfied about the religious question ; but they have 
pretty well made up their minds to pretend to be satisfied 
with what has been done upon that matter, though of 
course no one is really satisfied. I take personally the 
same view as you have recorded in one of your telegrams, 
of the more than doubtful policy of making our recognition 
depend upon the settlement of a question that is purely 
German, and has nothing earthly to do with the non- 
fulfilment of the religious-liberty clauses of the Treaty, 
which has hitherto prevented it ; but Bismarck is making 
strong appeals to us all to hold together. The Italians 
announced their recognition only after it had been notified 
to the Roumanians, and without previous hint to the other 
Governments whom I suspect to have spoken in a manner 
that has induced the Italian Government to stop Tornielli 
on his way to Bucharest. 

u Yours sincerely, 

" Henry Elliot." 

At last, in the following letter, Sir Henry Elliot informed 
Mr. White that the moment for recognition had arrived, 
or was on the point of arriving ; for there were still some 
preliminary matters to be settled. 

" Vienna, 
" Feb. 14, & March 8, 1 88a 

" Dear Mr. White, 

" I send you an official despatch received under 
flying seal from F. O. authorising you to notify the 
recognition of Roumania, in concert with the French and 
Germans. The intimation that what has been done for 
the Jews is considered as an instalment is not put in a 
way that need offend the Roumanians, and I congratulate 
you in escaping at last from your equivocal position 
The Austrian Government will join the others in express- 
ing the expectation that the principle of religious liberty 
agreed to at Berlin should have a further development" 


There were no longer any religious disabilities in 
Roumania. But among foreigners not entitled to the 
franchise the Roumanians made no special exception in 
favour of the Jews. 

They were placed on an exact equality with Englishmen 
and Frenchmen, with Catholics and Protestants. The 
principle of religious liberty agreed to at Berlin could not 
then have any further development. 

So far in theory; though in practice the Roumanian 
chamber might show itself less inclined to grant letters 
of naturalisation to foreign Jews than to foreign 

In vain did Baron de Worms and Mr. Montefiore 
protest in a letter to Lord Salisbury that Clause 44 of 
the Berlin Treaty was not being carried out. In vain, 
moreover, did they attribute to the Roumanians the 
doctrine no longer held by them that a Jew born in 
Roumania of Jewish parents was an alien by reason of 
his religion. He was an alien, like all other children 
of non-Roumanian parents, by reason of his not being 
of Roumanian blood. A Jew converted to Christianity 
would be in the same position as any other Jew. Of 
all the foreigners established in Roumania, the Jews 
seem to have been the only ones who claimed the 
suffrage ; or the only ones, rather, for whom the 
suffrage was claimed. 

Immediately before recognition was determined upon, 
Mr. White had written to Lord Salisbury, informing him 
that the mysterious Railway Bill was being hurried 
through the Chambers in order to satisfy the exigencies 
of the German Government 

Lord Salisbury wrote in reply that without deferring 
any longer the recognition of Roumania, he wished an 
intimation to be conveyed to the Roumanian Government, 


"that the alteration made by them in the constitution 
was accepted by the Governments of France and England 
in the full confidence that, by a liberal execution of it, 
the Roumanian Government were resolved to bring the 
working of their law into exact conformity with the 
spirit of the ' Treaty of Berlin.' " 

The English text of the identical note presented to 
the Roumanian Government, February 20, 1880, was in 
these terms: 

" Bucharest, 
"February 20, 1880. 

" The Undersigned, British Representative at Bucharest, 
has the honour, by order of his Government, to convey 
to M. Boeresco, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of 
Roumania, the following communication : 

" Her Britannic Majesty's Government have been in- 
formed, through the Agent of His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Roumania at Paris, of the promulgation, on the 
25th October, 1879, of a Law, voted by the 'Chambre 
de Revision' of the Principality, for the purpose of 
bringing the text of the Roumanian Constitution into 
conformity with the stipulations inserted in Article 44 of 
the Treaty of Berlin. 

"Her Majesty's Government cannot consider the new 
Constitutional provisions which have been brought to 
their cognizance — and particularly those by which persons 
belonging to a non-Christian creed domiciled in Roumania, 
and not belonging to any foreign nationality, are required 
to submit to the formalities of individual naturalization — 
as being a complete fulfilment of the views of the Powers 
signatories of the Treaty of Berlin. 

" Trusting, however, to the determination of the Prince's 
Government to approximate more and more, in the 
execution of these provisions, to the liberal intentions 
entertained by the Powers, and taking note of the positive 
assurances to that effect which have been conveyed to 
them, the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, being 
desirous of giving to the Roumanian nation a proof of 
their friendly sentiments, have decided to recognize the 
Principality of Roumania as an independent State. Her 


Majesty's Government consequently declare themselves 
ready to enter into regular diplomatic relations with 
the Prince's Government. 

" In bringing the decision come to by his Government 
to the knowledge of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
the Undersigned, &c. 

"(Signed) W. A. White." 

It may here be mentioned that in connection with the 
recognition of Roumanian independence a semi-official 
pamphlet on the Jewish Question was issued, in which 
the important fact was dwelt upon, that in order to 
comply with the requirements of the Berlin Treaty, a 
Roumanian assembly elected for that purpose had revised 
a fundamental article of the Roumanian constitution. 

The article which had to be dealt with was as follows : 

"The character of Roumanian is acquired, preserved, 
and lost conformably with the civil law. Foreigners of 
Christian denominations can alone obtain naturalisation." 

Thus Jews and Mahometans were alike excluded. 

The Roumanians could scarcely be expected to alter the 
first clause of this article. They changed entirely, how- 
ever, the second clause by placing naturalisation within 
die reach of all foreigners, without distinction of religion. 

According to the semi-official publication just referred 
to, Jews under the new system would enjoy all the rights 
belonging to foreigners in general, who possessed the 
right of serving in the army and the national guard, the 
right of buying houses, or plots of land in towns, the right 
of becoming barristers and of serving on juries in towns, 
and of exercising freely every profession and every trade. 
They would enjoy the same legal position as Roumanians ; 
they would be protected in the same manner by the law ; 
while on applying for complete naturalisation by a petition 



to the Roumanian Parliament, they could obtain every 
right and privilege enjoyed by a Roumanian of Roumanian 
birth and descent 

After discussions by letter and despatch, special missions 
from Bucharest to the chief European capitals, protests, 
representations, and misrepresentations on the part of the 
Alliance Israelite, the Roumanians still refused to place 
Jews on an equality as regards civil and political rights 
with Roumanians of Roumanian blood. But they placed 
them on an equality with Englishmen, Frenchmen, 
Germans, Italians, and foreigners generally. All religious 
disabilities were removed ; while the other disabilities 
attaching to all aliens were suffered to remain, and remain 
still. The various propositions and counterpropositions on 
this subject occupied a great deal of Mr. White's attention 
during the years 1878, 1879, and 188a 

On March 20, 1880, Mr. White presented his letters of 
credence to Prince Charles I., who expressed much grati- 
fication, and replied in the following words : 


"Je suis heureux de recevoir les lettres par les, 
quelles Sa Majesty la Reine votre auguste Souveraine vous 
accreMite en quality de son Envoy£ Extraordiniare et 
Ministre Ptenipotentiare aupres de moi. Je saisis avec 
empressement cette occasion de vous assurer du dlsir que 
j'lprouve de voir s'&ablir les meilleurs rapports entre la 
Roumanie et la Grande Bretagne, esperant que les liens 
d'amitie* qui existent entre les deux pays se consolideront 
de plus en plus dans l'avenir. Les sentiments affectueux 
que Sa Majeste* la Reine veut bien me tdmoigncr me 
touchent tout particulierement ; j'ai vu une nouvelle preuve 
de ses sentiments dans l'empressement que vous avez mis 
a presenter vos lettres de cr£ance. Je suis charme* que 
votre Souveraine ait fait choix de votre personne pour la 
representor a ma Cour, ayant pu apprecier les hautes 
qualites qui vous distinguent et connaissant l'int£r£t 
sympathique que vous portez k la Roumanie. Mon 


Gouvernement s'empressera de faire tout ce qui d£pendra 
de lui pour faciliter votre mission, que je souhaite vous 
voir remplir pendant de tongues ann6es aupr&s de moi. 

Mr. White now received his Treaty of Commerce, for 
which he was warmly thanked by Lord Salisbury, who on 
April 12, 1880, addressed him from Biarritz the following 
letter : 

"My dear Mr. White, 

" I am very much obliged to you for your letter 
and for the copy of the Roumanian Treaty which you 
have forwarded to mc. It will, I hope, be of considerable 
value to the commerce of this country, and the negotia- 
tion of it under circumstances of peculiar difficulty will 
reflect great credit on your diplomatic career. 

" I have submitted to the Prime Minister the question 
whether the bestowal of a red ribbon on the Prince of 
Roumania ought to be taken in hand now, or whether 
it is properly a matter to be left to our successors. I 
shall now hold office very few days longer. As I shall 
probably not have occasion during that time to write 
to you again, allow me to take this opportunity of 
expressing my very cordial gratitude for the zealous 
co-operation you have given me during my short term 
of office, and for the judgment with which your duties 
have been performed. 

"Believe me, 

"Yours truly, 

" Salisbury. ' 

So far everything in regard to the Commercial Treaty 
at which Mr. White had laboured with varying fortunes, 
in the midst of Jewish questions, railway jobs, and 
cessions of territory had gone well ; when suddenly, on 
reading the report of a Parliamentary debate, it seemed 
to him that his services in connection with the Treaty, 
together with the Treaty itself, were ignored by the 
Foreign Office. 

A question had been asked in the House of Commons 


as to whether of late any commercial treaties had been 
made with foreign Powers, to which the Under-Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs replied in the negative. This was 
startling news to Mr. White, and it must have surprised 
also Prince Charles of Roumania ; for only six months 
had passed since the signing of the Commercial Treaty 
between Roumania and England. 

Mr. White thereupon wrote, on September 8, 1880, 
the following letter to Sir Charles Dilke, Under-Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs at the time: 

" Bucharest, 
"8 September, 1880. 

"My dear Dilke, 

" The London papers received here dated Thursday 
morning September 2, bring a reply of yours to Mr. 
Bourke, your predecessor in office, in the House of 
Commons in which you are reported as having said, 

"'That as far as you were aware no changes (i.e., 
favourable ones to British Commerce) had been made 
by foreign countries in their tariffs within the last six 
months. 1 

"Considering that our Commercial Treaty with Rou- 
mania was signed on April 5, and ratified on July 12, 1880, 
and that it stipulated some important tariff reductions 
on British goods which have been very favourably com- 
mented on in the German and Austrian Press, I should 
have hoped that a memorandum to that effect would 
have been placed by the proper department in your hands 
previous to your going down to the House. 

"The value of the cotton yarn imported here from 
Great Britain is estimated at the lowest at one million 
sterling (£1,000,000 stg.) per annum, and on these 
the reduction is from 21 to 15 per cent, 100 kilos or 
nearly two-and-sixpence per hundred weight. The other 
reductions affect copper, tin, brass, iron chains, rails 
and bedsteads, hoops, cutlery, hardware, and machinery. 
The omission of any mention of this is unfair, not only 
to myself, but still more to the country where I have the 
honour of being accredited, and it is chiefly on that 
account that I deplore it Here at Bucharest every one 


is aware, and no one better than my colleagues and the 
Government, with what difficulties I have had to contend 
in order to obtain a satisfactory conclusion of this part 
of my negotiations ; and it will appear very strange that 
the results obtained are so little appreciated at home, and 
that they were not thought deserving of the slightest 
notice in your reply. 

"One might have imagined that this single exception 
of tariff charges in a more liberal sense might not have 
escaped unnoticed, and would have rather deserved some 
public recognition and encouragement at a time when 
increasing duties appear to be the rule on the Continent 

" The close of the Session will prevent the matter from 
being put straight now for many months, but I trust you 
will think it but natural on my part that I should make 
this apparent to you. 

'• I fear these lines will not reach the F.O. till after your 
departure, and I have taken the liberty therefore to send 
them under flying seal to Mr. Sanderson, as I should 
also like Lord Granville to see them. 

" I am, yours sincerely, 

"W. A White." 

The question put by Mr. Bourke in the House was 
one which he himself ought better than any one to have 
been able to answer, at least as regarded the Commercial 
Treaty with Roumania ; for it was he, not Sir Charles 
Dilke, who was in office as Under-Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs when the Treaty was signed. 

Some months before the recognition of Roumanian 
Independence Mr. White received two interesting letters 
from Sir Robert Morier, which may here be given. 

" Cintra, 
"29/fww, 1879. 

" My dear White, 

" I fancied you were to be off to Bucharest at once, 
but I see you were at the Cobden Club dinner, and so 
this may perhaps reach you in London. I feel no heart 
in writing to a man at Bucharest with only a probability 
of getting an answer a year hence. It's like writing to 


k^Mix.:*^* * 


I verr mart jLLyiei Hbsl 1 saw so little of tcmi 

-* a^ ^^ 

is 7 jfirifip sod thai in such a hmry. Snt never was a 
poor devil no haxned with wins: as J was the last 14. days 
of xny slay. Well, 1 woe the game aD rand diut (not 
tie way to makeiriends). and iefc very rhrrrfun y, b e li e ving 
all idj troubles at an end. and tins within thine weeks 
of my return to T jAnm ju\* two Urals's would he tkvough 
tie Cortes and about ready far ratifiration. Imagine what 
was my consternation on arrival id ind the Ministry 00 
lie point of resignation ! 1 have been bowled 
or twice before in my life, bur such a bowl 
I never dreamt of as belonging to tbe pnwftaBt ie s of 
even Portuguese politics ; and such a consequent tbree 

weeks as 1 bad ! — never, 1 hope, may 1 have tbe Bse again. 
Some day 1 bope to teD yon tbe story, lor it is as good 
as a play. And now of yauraeK, tbe last day I was in 
London tbe great Philip [now Lord] Cnrrie 
to let tbe light of bis nrwmtrnannr ikll an tbe bumble 
age who represents tbe Queen at Lisbon, and so 
bun a variety of questions. He spoke disparagingly and 
disagreeably of many persons 1 asked about, till I came 
to yon, and on this topic bad not too much praise to 
bestow, saying you had done must mdmzrobfy — I am 
particularly anxious to ctmstoSer this, because this was mot 
his tone on his let m u from Constantinople. I always 
think it a service to a real friend to communicate these 
comm/rages, because it makes the whole difference in the 
efficiency of one's work whether one knows that your 
employers are satisfied with it 

" I wish you could find time to give me some gossip 
I am extremely vexed at Petre not getting Rio. It 
seems to me a crying shame. 

"Then I should like to have a notion or two about 
Egypt— -je n*y vois que du feu. What are we about? 
Must we invoke Bismarck's aid even there ? And can we 
do nothing by ourselves? How absolute has been the 
imbecility of leaving Chelmsford at the Cape ! Conceive 
a man with 36,000 troops being unable to do anything 
without asking for 4 more regiments when there is neither 
food nor transport for those he already has! 

" Ever yours faithfully, 

" R. B. MORIER. 

11 Mind you answer before leaving." 


" ClNTRA, 
"ilM Jufy, 1879. 

"My dear White, 

" Mrs. Morier, looking over an old Times this 
morning, chanced to stumble on your name at the last 
lev/e as H.M. Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary at Bucharest. I write most heartily to con- 
gratulate you. Of course I knew you were to be Minister, 
and believed the matter was only delayed till circumcision 
had been placed on a footing of equality with baptism in 
Roumania. As I go on the principle of being always very 
exact, I had addressed you as still Consul-General. Please 
pardon me for doing so, and accept my best wishes on 
your promotion to the highest rank of the hierarchy short 
of Ambassador. 

" I see that Roggenbach is in London. You know that 
for years I have wished you to meet, because in every 
way and for 10,000 reasons you should know each other. 
He is a perfectly honourable man — one out of the three 
or four perfectly honourable (as a man and a politician) 
I have as yet succeeded in discovering after 30 years' 
search. He is a liberal Catholic He is the amicus curias 
of the Roumanian Hohenzollern. Do all you can to 
cultivate him. 

"Let me know how long you remain in London. I 
should like to send some letters I wrote at the time of the 
Congress about Roumania — but don't like to send them 
all the way to Bucharest. 

" Yours, 

" R. B. Morier." 



FOR a man who, like Sir William White, took a keen 
interest in "questions," there could be no more 
delightful country than Roumania at the time of the 
Berlin Conference and for nearly two years afterwards. 

1. Roumania and the Jewish Question. 

2. Roumania and the question of the retrocession of 

3. Roumania and the question of the mouths of the 

4. Roumania and the question of a Russian military 
road through Roumanian territory. 

5. Roumania. and the Bismarckian Railway Question. 

6. Roumania and the question of her continued exist- 
ence as an independent State, with the further question 
whether her life was threatened by Russia, by Austria, or 
by the two in combination. 

7. Roumania and the Roumanian Question in Transyl- 

These were the questions— some of them burning ones 
— which Mr. White had to keep before him during the 
first two years of his stay at Bucharest 

For him personally, moreover, there was the very in- 
teresting question which for so long a time remained 
undecided: whether he was to be accredited to the 
Roumanian Court (1) as Consul-General and Diplomatic 



Agent — his rank at Belgrade ; (2) as Minister Resident ; 
or (3) as Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister Plenipo- 

He, in fact, leapt from the rank of Consul-General to 
that of Minister Plenipotentiary — the highest point but 
one in diplomacy — at a single bound. 

Except, meanwhile, the question of the Roumanians in 
Transylvania and the injustice to which they were ex- 
posed at the hands of the Hungarians, there was not one 
of the above questions which at the beginning of 1880 
had not, temporarily at least, been settled ; though the 
question of the Danubian mouths was later to be made 
the subject of a special conference. It signifies but little 
what was said at this conference. As a matter of fact 
the Danube up to Galatz is now navigated by the 

The question of the Roumanians in Transylvania and 
their alleged oppression by the Hungarian rulers of that 
province seems to have puzzled Lord Salisbury when he 
first came across it; and his Lordship was disposed to 
regard it as a rccently-got-up question, by which the 
Roumanians of the kingdom hoped to gain some advan- 
tage for themselves. 

So at least it appears from a passing reference to the 
matter in an unofficial letter from his Lordship to Mr. 

The question, however, was a genuine one, with real 
grievances beneath it, by which not the Roumanians 
of the kingdom, but the Roumanians of Transylvania 
alone suffered ; while, far from being new, it dated from 
the great year of nationalistic aspirations and uprisings, 

The Roumanians of Transylvania were scarcely at that 
time in an inferior position to the Roumanians of the not 



yet united provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia ; both 
under the suzerainty of Turkey, and both threatened 
alternately by Russia and by Austria — to say nothing 
of an occasional occupation on the part of the Turks. 
Since, however, the existence of Roumania as an in- 
dependent state, the oppressed Roumanians of Transyl- 
vania had accustomed themselves to look to their 
Roumanian kinsfolk beyond the border for sympathy 
and support 

Apart from the compulsory use of Hungarian as the 
language of the schools, the public offices, and the 
tribunals, the Roumanians of Transylvania complained 
that even those among them who had mastered the 
Hungarian tongue were largely excluded — not legally, 
but as a matter of fact — from Government service. 

In connection with the compulsory use of Hungarian 
as the sole language of instruction, a curious difficulty 
had arisen. Patriotic Roumanians in the kingdom of 
Roumania, have from time to time made bequests for 
the maintenance of Roumanian schools in Transylvania. 
The funds bequeathed are at the disposal of the 
Roumanian Minister of Public Instruction, who, how- 
ever, if he hands them over to the Hungarian Minister 
of Public Instruction for the purposes of the legacy, 
finds that they cannot be so applied, the object of the 
Hungarian Government being not to encourage, but to 
extirpate the Roumanian language in Transylvania. 
Yet the Roumanian Minister must do something with 
the money confided to him ; and he finds himself exposed 
to the attacks of the party out of office, whether he 
gives it or withholds it. 

In the Bukovina, where the bulk of the population 
is Roumanian, the administration is in the hands of 
Austrian officials, who, as in the adjacent Galicia and 


other parts of Austria, recognise the right of the in- 
habitants to use their native tongue. They are not 
represented in any assembly. But they do not suffer 
from the annoyance, humiliation, and positive injury of 
having a foreign language forced upon them. 

There are no complaints, then, from the Roumanians 
of the Bukovina, nor need there be from the Rou- 
manians of Transylvania, if the Hungarian Government 
would only abstain from unavailing attempts to turn 
them into Hungarians. These endeavours have, of course, 
no effect but to stimulate their national feeling and render 
them more Roumanian than ever. 

It would be impossible indeed, to cite one instance 
of a foreign population rendered loyal by having an 
alien tongue forced upon it. 

The constantly increasing importance of Roumania as 
an independent State has rendered more and more 
difficult for Hungary the government of her Roumanian 
subjects in Transylvania. The strong national character 
of the Roumanians cannot be destroyed, and it is only 
developed and hardened by the endeavours so persistently 
made to turn them into Hungarians. 

The oppressed condition of the Roumanians in Tran- 
sylvania has, unfortunately, an injurious effect upon the 
relations between Roumania and Austria-Hungary, which 
might otherwise be of the most friendly character. It 
causes bad blood, moreover, between the only two races 
in Eastern Europe — the Hungarians and the Roumanians, 
— who, according to Sir Henry Layard, understand self- 
government and can be counted upon to defend their 
liberty and independence. 

That not the Roumanians alone, but in an equal degree 
the Saxon inhabitants of Transylvania, are subject to 
grave injustice at the hands of the Hungarian Government 


is shown by a much esteemed writer who, in her delightful 
work on Transylvania, 1 concludes as follows an edifying 
account of a criminal process against two Saxons : 

"Characteristic of Magyar legislation was the circum- 
stance of the whole trial being conducted in Hungarian, 
though this language was absolutely unknown to the 
two German prisoners, who were thus debarred the 
doubtful privilege of comprehending their own death- 
sentence when finally pronounced about a year after 
their crime. Its meaning, however, was subsequently 
made known to them ; for Anton von Kleeberg and 
Rudolf Martin were executed at Hermannstadt on the 
1 6th June, 1885." 

As with the Saxons, so it would be with Roumanians 
brought to trial in Transylvania. They would be accused, 
borne witness against, and sentenced in an unknown 

" There is no doubt, 19 writes the English lady just quoted, 
"that the bulk of Roumanians living to-day in Hungary 
and Transylvania consider themselves to be serving in 
bondage and constantly gaze over the frontier to their 
real monarch ; and who can blame them for so doing ? 
In the many Roumanian hovels that I have visited in 
Transylvania I have frequently come across the portrait 
of the King of Roumania hung upon the place of honour, 
but never once that of His Austrian Majesty. Old wood- 
cuts representing Michael the Brave, the great hero of 
the Roumanians, and of the rebel Hora, arc also pretty 
sure to be found adorning the walls of many a hut. It 
is likewise by no means uncommon to see village taverns 
bearing such titles as 'To the King of Roumania/ 'To 
the United Roumanian Kingdom/ &c." 

The writer then relates a strikingly suggestive incident 
which came beneath her notice at Hermannstadt on the 
Roumanian frontier. 

1 TKi Land Beyond tk$ Forest By E. Gerard. Blackwood. 


"Two Roumanian generals, engaged in some business 
regarding the regulation of the frontier, being at Hermann- 
stadt for a few days, paid visits to the principal Austrian 
Military authorities, and were the object of much courteous 
attention. One evening the Austrian Commanding 
General had ordered the military band to play in honour 
of his Roumanian con/rites, and seated along with them 
on the promenade we were listening to the music. 
Presently two or three private soldiers, passing by, stopped 
in front of us to stare at the foreign uniforms. Apparently 
their curiosity was not easily satisfied, for after five 
minutes had elapsed they still remained standing as though 
rooted to the spot; and other soldiers had joined them 
as well, till the group soon numbered about a dozen heads. 

"Being engaged in conversation, I did not at the 
moment pay much attention to the circumstance, but, 
happening to turn round some minutes later, I was 
surprised to see that the spectators had become doubled 
and quadrupled in the meantime, and were steadily increas- 
ing every minute. Little short of a hundred soldiers were 
now standing in front of us all, gazing intently. Why 
were they gazing thus strangely? What were they 
looking at ? I asked myself confusedly, but luckily checked 
the question rising to my lips, when it suddenly struck 
me that all these men had swarthy complexions, and 
each one of them a pair of dark eyes ; and simultaneously 
I remembered that the infantry regiment whose uniform 
they wore was recruited from Roumanian villages round 

"They were perfectly quiet and submissive-looking, 
betraying no sign of outward excitement or insubordina- 
tion ; but their expression was not to be mistaken, and 
no attentive observer could have failed to read its meaning 
aright It was at tluir own generals they were gazing 
in that hungry-looking manner ; and deep down in every 
^dusky eye, piercing through a thick layer of patience, 
stupidity, apathy, and military discipline there smouldered 
a spark of something vague and intangible, the germ of 
the sort of fire which has often kindled revolutions and 
overturned kingdoms. 

" Heaven only knows what was passing in the clouded 
brain of these poor ignorant men as they stood thus 
gaping and staring in the intensity of their rapt attention ; 
visions of glory and freedom, perchance, dreams of peace 


and prosperity, dim, far-off pictures of unattainable 
happiness of a golden age to come, and an Arcadian 
state of things no more to be found on the dull surface 
of this weary world. 

•The Austrian generals tried not to look annoyed, the 
Roumanian generals tried not to look elated, and the 
English looker-on endeavoured (I trust somewhat more 
successfully) to conceal her amusement at the serio- 
comicality of the situation which one and all we tacitly 
ignored with that excellent hypocrisy characterising well- 
bred persons of every nation." 

Probably nothing could now stop the attraction exercised 
by free and independent Roumania upon the more or less, 
enslaved Roumanians of Transylvania. The effect of 
rational government might of course be tried. But the 
Hungarians are unfortunately resolved on carrying out 
their own impracticable system of Hungarianizing all the 
non-Hungarian populations subject to their rule. 



FROM 1878 until the beginning of 1881, Mr White 
received at Bucharest an immense number of letters 
from Sir Henry Layard at Constantinople. The following 
is an extract from one of these, dated September 5, 1878. 

" Roumania will now, as you say, occupy a very im- 
portant, and at the same time dangerous position, in the 
midst of the Slav and Slavonian-speaking races, whose 
ambitious designs and aspirations have been vastly en- 
couraged by recent events. It will remain for her and 
Hungary to fight the battle of liberty and national 
independence against an unscrupulous and greedy people. 
I could never understand the hostility of the Liberal party 
in England to Hungary, and the denunciation of her by 
Liberal leaders. One would have thought that a country 
which had bled for Liberal institutions, and had upheld 
the course of freedom for so long in the midst of the 
despotic Powers of Eastern Europe, would have deserved 
the sympathy and support of Liberal England. But the 
world seems turned upside down. 

" I trust that Roumania will persist in her disposition 
to establish good relations with the Porte. She must 
not be discouraged if at first her advances are coldly 
received. After all she behaved towards Turkey with 
unparalleled treachery, and has been the main cause of 
the disasters of this unhappy country. In the course of 
time the feelings of the Turks may soften down, and the 
Porte may see then that it is to its interest to be on the 
most friendly terms with Roumania. Your interest and 



advice will contribute a good deal towards establishing such 
relations. D. Bratiano will, I think, be a good choice for 
Roumanian representative here. . . . You write about a 
project of assuring to Roumania Bulgaria up to the 
Balkans. Does the possibility of such an arrangement 
enter into Roumanian calculations? It would certainly 
be a good way of putting an end to Russian influence 
and progress in European Turkey ; but would it ever be 
effected without a great war in which Russia were com- 
pletely defeated?" 

Notwithstanding his contempt for Servia and his 
condemnation of Roumania for the part she had taken 
against Turkey during the war (and for that alone), 
Layard entertained a genuine admiration for Christitch, 
the Envoy of Servia at Constantinople, and for Dem&tre 
Bratiano, (elder brother of the eminent statesman), who 
represented Roumania at the Porte. 

It was when Bratiano was on the point of arriving at 
Constantinople that Sir Henry Layard, on October 4, 1878, 
addressed to Mr. White the following letters : 

u My dear Mr. White, 

"I shall be glad to see Mr. Bratiano and will do 
what I can for him. When the idea of uniting Bulgaria 
to Roumania was first suggested to me I did not think 
the arrangement desirable or practicable. But after what 
has taken place, I have changed my opinion to a certain 
extent However, I doubt whether Russia would ever 
consent to it. She would resist it to the extent of war. 
It appears to me that the best policy of the Roumanian 
Government would be to establish the most friendly 
relations with the Porte founded upon mutual interests, 
to conciliate the Mussulman population of the Dobrudja 
and to govern that province justly and well. 

" Dondakoff Korsakoff states openly that the Treaty and 
Congress of Berlin are une comidie d Offenbach, and that 
Russia has no intention whatever of permitting the Treaty 
to be carried out But his language is not perhaps to be 
taken au pied de la Uttre % and I trust that when the 


commission arrives at Philippopolis, which it should do as 
soon as possible, the Prince will think better of it 

" The deplorable manner in which Austria has effected 
the annexation of Bosnia adds very much to the diffi- 
culties with which we shall have to contend in executing 
the treaty. 

" I should doubt whether Austria would permit the 
Prince of Montenegro to be elected Prince of Bulgaria 
also, unless she has entirely changed her policy/' 

On October 18, 1878, Sir H. Layard wrote to Mr. 
White as follows: 

" I communicated an extract from your letter of the 
7th, relating to the policy of Turkey as regards Austria, 
to high quarters, suppressing, of course, your name, and 
stating that the advice came from a true friend of both 
countries, who had the best means of forming an opinion 
on the subject I think what you wrote made some 
impression ; but the unfortunate circulars about the 
cruelties attributed to the Austrian troops in Bosnia had 
already been launched. It is a most unwise and suicidal 
act on the part of the Porte to make public accusations 
of this nature against Austria. 

" Although I know by official reports that I have 
received from very trustworthy ^ sources that some of 
the Austrian generals have behaved with great harshness 
and cruelty towards their prisoners, and the Mussulman 
population ; yet in order to bring the matter to the notice of 
Europe, the Porte might have taken other measures less 
offensive to Austria. Unfortunately, nowadays, patriotism 
is a crime ; and a man who ventures to defend his country 
and his property is an insurgent, and must be summarily 
shot when taken. This is unlucky for patriots, but they 
have nothing else to do but to give up their country, their 
wives, and their property, and make the best of it It is, 
however, not a little curious that we are come to this in 
the nineteenth century, and that such principles should 
be sanctioned by solemn treaties. 

"The wholesale destruction of the Mussulman popula- 
tion, and the shocking outrages practised upon them, are 
still continuing. It will be completely destroyed in 
Bulgaria, and will be so reduced in Roumelia that it will 
soon perish there, 



" I should think that at least a million Mussulman lives 
have already been sacrificed. I am glad to hear that the 
Roumanian Government is disposed to encourage and 
treat kindly the Mahommedans. It will be good policy, 
I am convinced, for it to do so." 

After M. Bratiano had arrived at Constantinople Sir 
Henry Layard wrote again to Mr. White: 


"Octr. 28/78 

"My dear Mr. White, 

"Affairs in European Turkey are going on ill, 
and we are threatened with a serious insurrection in 

" I see by the telegram that the new Ministry in 
Austria is disposed to abandon the policy that has led 
to the present unfortunate state of affairs as regards 
Bosnia, and to come to some arrangement with the Porte. 
I earnestly hope that such may be the case, and that 
close and intimate relations may be established between 
the two countries. This is very necessary to both in 
the presence of the determined intention of Russia to 
carry out her designs for the destruction and partition 
of this Empire. Unless they are united, they are both 
doomed. I shall be very glad to see M. Bratiano again, 
and to give him all the support in my power. I never 
lose .an opportunity of endeavouring to persuade the 
Turks of the importance of maintaining the most friendly 
relations with Roumania, and I think they feel it ; but 
unfortunately they are lukewarm and dilatory in all 
their movements, instead of hastening to establish such 
relations by every possible means. I hear that Suleiman 
Bey is clever and intelligent, but I should say that he 
was too young and inexperienced for the post of Turkish 
Minister at Bucharest. You must kindly aid him with 
your advice. 

" Yours very truly, 

"A. H. Layard." 

" I am glad," wrote Sir Henry, on November 1, 1878, 
"that Lord Salisbury has spoken so plainly to the 
Russian Government as to our intention of compelling 


the Russians to evacuate Eastern Roumelia and Bulgaria 
when the time comes for their doing so, and has warned 
Roumania of the danger of falling into the Russian trap. 
I have only seen Bratiano once. He was to have dined 
with us and passed the night here, but he was unwell 
and unable to come. I shall invite him again. The 
Porte is desirous of meeting the Roumanians in the most 
friendly and conciliatory spirit, but you know how slow 
it always is in putting its good intentions into execution. 
This constant procrastination and dilatoriness drive one 
to despair in dealing with the Turks, and frustrate all 
one's attempts to serve them and to deliver them from 
the terrible troubles into which they have fallen." 

A few days after the arrival at Constantinople of 
M. Bratiano as minister for Roumania, Sir Henry Layard 
wrote to Mr. White as follows : 

" I saw Bratiano yesterday. He seems to be much 
satisfied with his reception here, and tells me that he 
finds the Porte very much disposed to come to a cordial 
understanding with Roumania ; but he is very anxious 
that England and France should lose no time in recog- 
nising her — Jews or no Jews—and he urges me to write 
to Lord Salisbury on the subject. I told him that it was 
out of my province to do so, and that I knew that you 
were doing all that could properly be done in the matter. 
He professes himself very much alarmed at the designs 
of Russia with regard to the Dobrudja, and seems to 
think that she will not give it up before securing a 
secret agreement with the Roumanian Government He 
communicated to me a telegram on the subject a day 
or two ago from Mr. Kogolniceano, which he had been 
authorised to submit to me. 

" The Commission at Philippopolis has great difficulties 
to contend with. It is, however, doing one useful thing 
— verifying the atrocities committed by the Russians and 
Bulgarians upon the Mussulmans, and protesting publicly 
against them." 

A letter from Sir Henry Layard, dated April 14, 1879, 
contains the following remarkable passage, which by all 


who are interested in the Eastern Question is well worth 
bearing in mind : 

"The great danger to be apprehended in the East 
of Europe is that Roumania and Hungary should be 
enveloped and crushed by the Slavs, which they will 
inevitably be if Russia is allowed to form all the so- 
called Slavs of the Balkan Peninsula into a great, 
compact Slav nationality, which will ultimately extinguish 
all elements of independence and civilisation." 

"Bratiano," wrote Sir Henry, December 20, 1878, 
M spoke to me about his plan for getting Prince Charles 
elected Prince of Bulgaria, and asked my opinion. It was 
too grave a matter for me to express any opinion about it 
I told him that I could not answer for the policy that 
H.M. Government might think fit to pursue. He then 
asked my advice as to whether he should proceed to 
London to place the matter before Lord Salisbury and 
endeavour to obtain the support of England for his 
scheme. I could not advise him on this point I 
recommended him to keep the matter quiet, and to 
sound Zichy and Fournier, which he appears to have 
done, and to have received encouraging replies from 
them — according to his own account The Grand Vizier, 
he says, and one or two of the Turkish ministers, 
expressed their approval. 

" But would Russia consent to such an arrangement as 
Bratiano proposes ? Would she not defeat it by force or 
intrigue ? And would the Bulgarians themselves consent 
to it under the constraint and influence of Russia as they 
now are? Therefore, however good Bratiano's scheme 
may be, I doubt very much whether it is practicable." 

The two next letters from Sir Henry Layard are very 
interesting in connection with a new understanding, now 
for the first time observed, between France and Russia. 

At the Berlin Conference Lord Beaconsfield and Lord 
Salisbury had succeeded in obtaining for England the 
co-operation both of France and of Germany — a com- 
bination which to the Russians might well have seemed 
impossible ; and Russia now considered it absolutely 

- -- 


necessary to detach France, since she could not separate 
Germany, from the European League which she had 
found arrayed against her at Berlin. 

The Franco-Russian understanding now formed was 
anterior to the understanding between Germany and 
Austria — its natural consequence as soon as Prince 
Bismarck was able to enlighten Count Andrassy as 
to what was really going on. 

The idea that Russia and France were wording 
together had already been suggested to Sir Henry Layard 
by Mr. White, who had been much struck by the friendly 
relations between the Russian and French Ministers at 

"The policy," wrote Sir Henry, "of French agents 
in the East, to which you refer in your letter, is 
somewhat mysterious. They appear to be everywhere 
supporting the Russians and Russian policy — here, in 
Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia, and also in Rou mania." 

In a letter dated May 9, 1879, Sir Henry speaks of 
"intrigues in the Palace to which the Russians and, I 
am afraid, my French colleague arc not strangers. What 
line," he asks, " are the French now taking in Roumania ? " 

The Franco-Russian understanding is again referred to 
in a letter dated December 2, 1879, explaining to Mr. 
White a movement of the English fleet in connection 
with possible disturbances, sure to be followed by out- 
rages, in Armenia. 

"It is absolutely necessary," he writes, " that every 
effort should be made to induce or compel the Porte to 
introduce the reforms promised to us, and it ought to 
be understood that it is only by doing so that it can 
secure the support of England. 

" I have a strong suspicion," he adds, " that the French 
are going with Russia ; many circumstances have come 
to my knowledge which seem to confirm it." 


Here is another letter of December, 1879, from Sir 
H. Layard to Mr. White: 

"A small retrograde anti-European clique have taken 
advantage of the constitutional timidity and suspicious 
nature of the Sultan to impose their influence upon him, 
and to induce him to enter upon a line of policy which 
may end in his ruin and that of his Empire. This is 
.especially lamentable when Turkey, through a combination 
of circumstances — amongst them, the understanding arrived 
at between Andrassy and Bismarck to which you refer 
in your letter — had an excellent chance of recovering 
herself and of securing the sympathy and support of 
England. All the most liberal-minded statesmen have 
been exiled from the capital on the pretence of giving 
them provinces to govern. I see no one capable of 
directing the affairs of the state in the present crisis. 

" The alliance between Germany and Austria must, as 
you say, have an immense effect on European politics. 
I trust that it may be for good, and that it may at least 
secure peace to us for some years to come. It could 
not but be favourable to Turkey if she knew how to 
take advantage of it . . . 

"I am glad that the visit of Prince Alexander of 
Bulgaria to his fellow prince passed off well, and that 
you were pleased with him. He will have no little 
difficulty in governing his province in the face of Russian 
intrigue, and it is thought not unlikely that Aleko will 
be driven to resign in order to make room for Alexander, 
who will then be at once elected Prince of United Bulgaria ; 
the union, being effected by a coup de mam similar to 
that practised in Moldo-Wallachia." 

Six years afterwards what Sir Henry Layard had 
foreseen was accomplished. 

Towards the end of January, 1880, Bratiano was once 
more at Constantinople, when he spoke of his country 
" in terms of despair." He told Sir Henry that Bismarck 
evidently intended to drive the Prince to resign, and to 
make the Principality disappear as an independent state. 


" But whether his policy is that it should be absorbed 
by Austria or Russia he (Bratiano) cannot tell. He 
believes that Bismarck's object will be effected within a 
year and a half or two years, and seems to take a very 
gloomy view of the affairs of his country — I hope, an 
exaggerated one. But there are certainly strong reasons 
for suspecting that Bismarck is meditating something in 
that direction." 

In regard to the Franco-Russian understanding he adds : 

"France is going entirely with Russia and against us 
in questions connected with Turkey. Whether this is 
the personal policy of my colleague, M. Fournier, or 
that of his Government I cannot tell you ; I can only 
say that from all our consuls I hear that the French 
and Russians act together. The conduct and policy of 
the Porte are in the meanwhile just leading the Empire 
to ruin. Anarchy, mis-government, discontent, and dis- 
affection are prevailing on all sides. The catastrophe 
may come sooner than the worst enemies of this country 
have anticipated. I have done my best to avert it, and 
can do no more. I can only hope that the Sultan will 
open his eyes in time and rid himself of the evil counsellors 
who form a clique in his palace and now virtually govern 
the country." 

The following letter, the last on political matters that 
Sir Henry Layard addressed to Mr. White, was written 
after the return of the Liberals to power ; also after the 
recognition of the independence of Roumania: 

11 Pbra, 

"Dear Mr. White, "Apru%i % 188a 

" I rejoice that I have again the means of corre- 
sponding direct with you. The welcome appearance of 
your letter of the 5th April, for which pray accept my 
thanks, was like that of the leaves in spring. It is of 
particular importance that I should be able to write to 
and hear from you. At the present time the state of 
Turkey is about as bad as it can be ; and the accession 
of the Liberal Government to office will encourage the 
various elements of disorder which exist in this unhappy 
country to show themselves, unless they are speedily 


warned, that they will receive no sympathy and support 
from England. I am very glad that so experienced and 
moderate a man as Lord Granville is to be Foreign 
Secretary — at least so the public telegrams say. He will 
not be disposed to encourage attempts to upset the order 
of things established by the Treaty of Berlin and to 
countenance the uprising of Eastern nationalities which 
would lead to fresh bloodshed and to renewed European 
interference. Something will have to be done with regard 
to Eastern Roumelia. Aleko Pasha is simply defying 
the Porte and all Europe. The former appears hopeless 
and helpless with respect to him, and the latter has 
hitherto shown no disposition to interfere. The result 
is that Aleko and his Bulgarian advisers are quietly setting 
aside the Treaty of Berlin and the organic statute, playing 
the game of Russia, and preparing the way for the cession 
of the province to Bulgaria. 

"The Porte seems anxious to establish very friendly 
relations with Roumania, and the Sultan has shown 
marked attention and civility to Bratiano, inviting him 
more than once to dinner, and conferring all kinds of 
honours upon him. 

"Yours very truly, 

"A. H. Layard." 

In spite of Sir Henry Layard's confidence in Lord 
Granville as "an experienced and moderate man," he 
received from his lordship, in the first month of 1881, 
a letter, dated January 14, recalling him in a not very 
friendly manner, and with a certain forced courtesy, from 
his post at Constantinople. If Sir Henry Elliot, however, 
had been found too Turkish for the political situation 
at home when a Conservative Government was in power, 
what must Sir Henry Layard have been after the 
Liberals had come into office? 

Lord Granville's despatch was in the following terms : 

" Foreign Office, 

" SIR, "January 14, 1881. 

"The Queen having signified her pleasure that 
Her Majesty should for the present continue to be 


represented at the Porte by an Ambassador as a Special 
Embassy, Her Majesty has been pleased to command 
that the termination of your Excellency's Embassy shall 
be notified to the Sultan, and as it might be inconvenient 
for you to proceed to Constantinople to deliver your letters 
of recall in person, arrangements have been made for their 
delivery to the Sultan through Her Majesty's Acting 
Representative at the Porte. 

" In thus notifying to you officially the termination of 
your Embassy, it is my agreeable duty to convey to 
you the Queen's appreciation of the energy and ability 
with which you conducted the business under circum- 
stances of exceptional difficulty, and I have at the same 
time to express the hope that your services may not 
hereafter be entirely lost to the country. 

" I have advised Her Majesty that your salary as her 
Ambassador at the Porte should cease and determine on 
the 31st December last, and Her Majesty has signified 
her pleasure to that effect accordingly. 

" I am, etc., 
(Signed) " Granville." 

It appears from the above that, on being dismissed 
from his post, an English ambassador receives a fortnight's 
notice counted backwards, with deduction from salary to 




SIR HENRY LAYARD was a little sanguine in the 
conviction he had expressed that the new Foreign 
Minister would do his best to see the provisions of the 
Berlin Treaty pat into execution. The introduction of 
reforms in Armenia which had so often and so ineffec- 
tively been pressed upon the Porte by Lord Salisbury 
was now to be taken up with equal unsuccess by Lord 

The culpable withdrawal of the military vice-consuls 
appointed by Lord Beaconsfield, and the intentional 
failure of the Turks to form and despatch to Armenia 
the promised gendarmerie under English officers (for 
which the English officers alone were forthcoming), helped 
to prepare the way for the massacre of the unarmed 
undefended population ; and when Mr. Goschen arrived 
at Constantinople, towards the end of May, 1881, as 
Special Ambassador, not only were no reforms being 
introduced into Armenia, but the Kurds and other savage 
tribes were ravaging the country. Hundreds of villages 
were destroyed by these barbarians, and their inhabitants 
forced to take refuge in Russia, where they were welcomed 
as living proofs of the iniquity of the Turkish Govern- 
ment. All serious intention of forcing the Turks to 
furnish the gendarmerie for Armenia seemed now to 
have been abandoned. 


In Eastern Roumelia were being repeated by Bulgarians 
upon the Turks, the acts of murder and outrage which 
had caused such indignation and horror when perpetrated 
by Turks upon Bulgarians. A rising of Mahometans 
having taken place at Philippopolis, where it was sup- 
pressed in the most savage manner by the Bulgarian 
Militia under Russian officers, some twenty Turkish 
villages were plundered and partly destroyed ; the in- 
habitants being, for the most part, massacred. 

Some of the worst excesses were committed by the 
societies of " Gymnasts," which were really companies 
and battalions of volunteers ; their gymnastic exercises 
being exclusively of a military kind. Numbers of Turkish 
mosques and schools were burned, and the government 
of the new province seemed to have no power over its 
own troops. When the late Mr. Thomas Michel), C.B., 
the newly appointed Consul-General and Diplomatic 
Agent in Eastern Roumelia, despatched to the Foreign 
Office a faithful account of the scenes he had witnessed 
at Philippopolis, his report was looked upon as exag- 
gerated. But Colonel Green, who was sent out to verify 
Mr. Michell's account, declared it to be very moderate, 
and well within the limits of the bare truth. 

Mr. White would soon have to occupy himself with the 
affairs of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia, and of Servia 
in its opposition to Bulgaria ; and he had already at 
Bucharest given his attention to the strained relations 
existing between Bulgaria and Roumania. Repeated 
complaints had been made by the Roumanian residents 
at Rustchuk of the treatment to which they were subjected 
by the Bulgarian authorities, but without effect. 

Soon afterwards bands of armed Turks entered Bulgaria ; 
and it was alleged that they had been formed in the 
Drobrudja, with the knowledge and approval of the 


Roumanians. This produced such an outcry against 
Roumania, both in the assembly and in the Press of 
Bulgaria, that a breach of diplomatic relations between 
the two countries seemed imminent M. Stourdza, the 
Roumanian Agent, was, in fact, recalled from Sophia, and 
a commission of inquiry was appointed by the Bulgarian 
Government ; when it appeared that the accusation brought 
against the Roumanian authorities of having taken 
part in the formation of the Turkish bands was quite 

All complicity on the part of Roumania having been 
disproved, there seemed for the moment to be no further 
cause for dissension between the the two states. But 
a fresh misunderstanding soon broke out in connection 
with the naturalisation or non-naturalisation of a Bulgarian 
in Roumania; and at the time of Mr. Goschen's arrival 
in Constantinople the attitude towards one another of the 
newly formed and newly liberated states of the Balkan 
Peninsula was by no means encouraging. 

There could be no question as to Mr. Goschen's high 
ability. But the plan of sending out special ambassadors 
accredited only for a short, indefinite time was scarcely 
a good one. No previous knowledge of Turkey was 
thought necessary on their part, nor did they remain 
long enough to inspire confidence. 

Mr. Goschen, who had been preceded by Sir Henry 
Layard who had been preceded by Sir Henry Elliot, 
was to be followed by Lord Dufferin ; who exercised 
great influence and had indeed become a power at 
Constantinople when he was called away to fill a still 
higher post: that of Viceroy of India. 

Some six months after his arrival at Constantinople 
Lord Dufferin addressed to Mr. White at Bucharest the 
following letter about Egyptian affairs: % 


" Thbrafia, 
"yojwu, 1882. 

" My dear White, 

" I am so much obliged to you for your kind letter 
of the 28th of June. I quite agree with you in thinking 
that this Egyptian business is the most troublesome we 
have had for some time. The position of every one 
concerned — England, France, the Sultan and the Khedive 
— is equally thorny. I am doing my best to get the 
Sultan to move ; but, naturally enough, he cannot bear 
the thought of coming into collision with a Mahommedan 
people, and having the task of cutting their throats in the 
interests of two infidel Powers. The French abhor the 
notion of Turkish military intervention, and though we 
drag them to the pond we may have difficulty in making 
them drink. I hear that in Egypt the French agent 
and the leading French officials are hand in glove with 
Arabi. That is not the Marquis de Noailles' line. I only 
hope your friend, Mr. de Ring, will not be able to impress 
him with his ideas. 

" In England the great mass of opinion seems to be 
against the Egyptian national party ; but it must be gall 
and wormwood to some of the radicals to send Turkish 
troops against the champions of Arab independence ; I 
myself don't like it. 

w Yours sincerely, 


Some months later, in the year 1883, there was a chance 
of Sir William White's being sent to Egypt, where he 
would have met, as a possible political antagonist, his 
intimate and much-esteemed friend, M. Camille Barrfcre, 
now French Ambassador at Rome. " He was somewhat 
disappointed at not going there," writes M. Barr&re ; 
" but he said to me with that genial laugh that you 
know, ' After all it is better so ; we know each other 
too well.' " 

I cannot here do better than give another extract from 
M. Barr&re's letter ; written in English, of which he is 
as much a master as of French. 


" White was anxious to know Gambetta who at the 
time was President of the Chamber of Deputies. I took 
him to the Palais-Bourbon, where they had a long talk 
and were much struck and pleased with each other. 
White admired Gambetta greatly. 

" White was one of the most genial diplomatists I ever 
met. His athletic form contained a mind of extraordinary 
shrewdness ; he showed me a kind of fatherly liking ; and 
I owe him many a profitable lesson on men and things. 
Brilliant as was his career, my impression has always been 
that it might have been greater if the times had helped 
him more, and if he had attained a higher sphere of public 
service younger. Anyhow, such as he was, he can be 
quoted as one of the most striking figures of modern 
diplomacy ; and I am very glad to hear that his life is to 
be told by you. 

" Yours very sincerely 

" Camille BarrEre." 



THE truth of Sir Henry Layard's oft-repeated saying, 
that it would be found very difficult to replace 
11 Turkey in Europe," was proved by the number of 
different projects brought forward for that purpose when 
European-Turkey, had been virtually destroyed. 

Sir Henry Layard would have liked to keep it going 
in its old shape, introducing reforms and endeavouring 
to place Mahometans and Christians on an equal footing, 
until at last the inevitable change would have come with- 
out too great a shock. Now that the change had come 
(with a frightful shock) Sir Henry had little or nothing 
to propose in the way of constructive policy. 

The idea of a Balkan Confederation was much in 
favour — one might almost say in fashion— at the time. 
Hut such a combination would have been at the mercy 
of Russia, of Austria, or of both together. 

The difficulties in the way of an independent Con- 
federation were well set forth by Sir Charles Dilke in 
the following letter to Sir William White : 

" My dear White, 

" I fancy you inclined to the Balkan Federation, 
which also seems Chamberlain's view. I shall be writing 
soon about this and I find great difficulties. A Federa- 
tion of Bulgaria and Greece is a Federation of a cat 
and a dog. There arc no two countries that hate each 




other more. Then Roumania detests Bulgaria also. The 
Federation would be directed against Austria as well as 
against Russia, and the two would combine to prevent 
it, I should have thought. 

" Yours ever truly, 

" C. W. D." 

, Sir William White's idea seems to have been a 
Federation of Balkan States supported by an Austrian 
Alliance. No such Federation could exist for any length 
of time except under the protection of either Austria 
or Russia ; and the fate of any one Balkan State 
endeavouring to effect a union (or to destroy one) by 
force of arms was shown by what took place during the 
war between Servia and Bulgaria after the bringing together 
of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia. Austria would not 
allow Bulgaria to penetrate far into Servia ; while Russia 
was prepared to arrest any too forward a march of Servia 
into Bulgaria. 

A Balkan Confederation in the impossible case of its 
being strong enough to be self-supporting might be 
desirable ; but if it were only strong enough to present 
a threatening aspect it could be disposed of by Austria's 
taking Wallachia and leaving Moldavia to Russia; by 
Russia's taking Bulgaria and leaving Servia to Austria. 

There are writers on this subject who declare that 
Austria, having already so many Slavonian subjects, would 
be afraid to increase the number. Sir William White, 
who knew this question thoroughly, was convinced, on 
the other hand, that the alleged Slavonisation of Austria 
constituted no danger whatever to that Power. 

Lord Edmond FitzMaurice, Under-Secretary for Foreign 
Affairs at the time, having consulted Sir William White 
on this subject, received from him the following reply : 

"It was a great pleasure for me to receive your last 


welcome note, and to read in it that you were desirous 
of hearing my views about the increase of Slav influence 
in Austria. It is a subject to which I have lately devoted 
much attention, as I think its importance is considerable, 
and it would be a great pity if we were on the wrong 
scent with regard to it. I have been thinking frequently 
of writing a private memorandum on the subject of Austria, 
and mentioned this once, I believe, in one of my private 
letters to Dilke. 

" I shall be but too glad to tell you gradually all that 
comes under my notice with my usual freedom, should 
you continue to wish it. 

" I am strongly of opinion that all that has been said 
lately about the Slavonisation of Austria being brought 
about is more than an exaggeration ; it is actually incorrect. 
A cry has been uttered by some Germans, taken up by 
the Opposition (or Verfassungspartei) % has been re- 
echoed by some, and even most, of the Consuls at Vienna, 
and has found credulous listeners at some of the Foreign 
Embassies and Legations there, but certainly not at the 
German Embassy, the best and most competent judge 
in the matter. 

"The greatest efforts have been made by the alarmist 
Germans in Austria to get this their view endorsed at 
Berlin, but hitherto in vain ; and this would be decisive for 
me, even if other proofs were wanting of the incorrectness 
of this estimate. 

" Of course, it is said at Vienna that this change is 
brought about by Count Taaffe and his colleagues ; but 
of these six gentlemen two are well-known Polish patriots, 
while one only, Pracak, is a Czech. The fact of the matter 
is, that Austria has to undergo a great many changes to 
satisfy her Slav subjects, without, on that account, jeopardis- 
ing her Germanic character ; though, without the adoption 
of such changes, her very existence becomes precarious. 
No one knows this better than the great German 
Chancellor, who has covered with sarcasm the pretensions 
of the German-Austrian patriots, and does not appear to 
think that in Austria Slavonisation is making too rapid 

"It is not Taaffe and his measures that have created 
suspicion at Berlin, but rather and his foreign sym- 
pathies, which, no doubt, are Russian. There always has 
been, and there is still, a pro-Russian party at the Hofburg. 



Political partisans who arc desirous to upset Taaffc have 
brought forward and arc constantly decrying the Slavonic 
proclivities of his Government in internal administration, 
and thus wish to make him odious and suspected through- 
out Germany. What you appear to have heard, and what 
I hear constantly, is the echo of this sort of thing ; but 
a careful study of his measures leads me to the opinion 
that this estimate is incorrect 

" A Parliamentary Government in a country like Austria, 
where the Germans are a minority, must be constantly 
doing something to satisfy the various nationalities con- 
stituting the majority ; and as the Ultramontanes and 
aristocracy happen to side with Taaffc, also the Poles and 
Slavs and Tyrolese, there is always some new accusation 
ready at hand against him." 

The Slavonians of the Balkan Peninsula both of the 
Servian and of the Bulgarian variety, have equally their 
champions in England. It is difficult, however, to under- 
stand how either Servia or Bulgaria can be looked upon 
as capable of offering any — even the slightest— resistance 
to Russia. 

The much more powerful Roumania might possibly do 
so. A Russian army, now that Bucharest is strongly 
fortified, could at least be delayed in front of the Roumanian 
capital until Austrian troops had time to come up. But 
without the Austrian Alliance, Roumania would practically 
be as powerless as Bulgaria or Servia. 

In writing to Sir William White at Bucharest, Sir 
Henry Layard at Constantinople expressed again and 
again the hope that Roumania, now that she was 
independent, would cultivate the most friendly relations 
with Turkey. He seems, indeed, at times to have desired 
for Roumania a free Alliance with Turkey in place of the 
vassalage of former days. He looked, however, very suspici- 
ously upon the Slavonian States, with their "unscrupu- 
lous and greedy populations," and regarded Roumania 


and Hungary as islands in the midst of threatening 
Slavonian seas, sure to be called upon to defend their 
liberty and independence in circumstances of great 

" Roumania," he wrote to Sir William White, " will 
now, as you say, occupy a very important, and at the same 
time dangerous position in the midst of the Slav, or 
Sclavonic ^speaking races whose ambitious designs and 
aspirations have been vastly encouraged by recent events. 
It will remain for her and Hungary to fight the battle of 
liberty and national independence against an unscrupulous 
and greedy people." 

Roumania was at this time, just after the recognition 
of her independence, in considerable danger with her 
two formidable neighbours ; each mindful, no doubt, of 
the Roumanian territory absorbed by them in former 
days — from Moldavia on one side, from Wallachia on 
the other. M. Ghika, son of Prince Jon Ghika, told Sir 
Henry Layard at Constantinople, that attempts were 
being made in his country to kindle animosity between 

1 Sir Henry Layard, like Lord Salisbury, spelt this word in the 
ancient English way, as sanctioned by standard authors, which is 
not, however, the way in which it is pronounced, whether among the 
Slavonians themselves, or among the Germans, French and English of 
the present day. In France the old word " Esclavon " has long been 
replaced by "Slave"; probably ever since Mickiewicz delivered at 
the College de France his admirable course of lectures on " Les 
Slaves, " some sixty years ago. The Slavonians derive their self-given 
name from s/ava t signifying "glory," The West-Europeans on the 
other hand have derived from the racial designation of the Slavonian, 
so often captured and subjugated, such words as sklave, esclave and 

A more probable derivation of the name is from slovo, a word. 
The person who uses the word — slovo— is the Slavonian. The dumb 
person, like the foreign person who cannot use the " word," is called 
nonets, which in Russian stands equally for the " dumb " and for the 
'• stranger." 


Moldavia and Wallachia ; and chiefly in Moldavia, with 
the view of detaching it from Wallachia. 

Bratiano declared to the same ambassador that 
Bismarck had evidently resolved to make Roumania 
disappear as an independent state ; though whether it 
was to be given to Austria or to Russia, or divided 
between the two, he did not know. Lord Salisbury, too, 
had heard that a project existed by which a great part 
of Roumania might possibly be absorbed into Hungary ; 
that Wallachian portion, no doubt, which adjoins 

Finally Russia had threatened the Roumanians that 
if they protested against or opposed her demand for a 
military passage she would occupy Roumania and disarm 
her troops. 

Without actual anarchy, then, there was certainly an 
anarchical state of things in the Balkan Peninsula, when, 
in 1880, Lord Granville replaced Lord Salisbury as Foreign 

Lord Granville does not seem to have written much 
to Sir William White at Bucharest or elsewhere. Sir 
William in any case preserved very few of Lord Granville's 
letters — all brief and to the point, without the least ampli- 
fication on political subjects. 

A letter from Sir William White to Lord Edmond 
FitzMaurice, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in the 
government of Mr. Gladstone, has already been given. 
Here is another of the year 1884, to the same corres- 
pondent, in which Sir William speaks of the visit to 
Bucharest of the Austrian Crown Prince. Lord Edmond 
had written to him on the " interminable difficulties M 
he had met with the previous year, in inducing the 
Austro- Hungarian Ambassador to make necessary con- 
cessions to Roumanian national feeling in regard to the 


navigation of the Danube, and expressing a hope that 
the visit of the Crown Prince to Bucharest might be the 
occasion of establishing friendly relations. 

" Bucharest, 
"4M May, 1884. 

"My dear FitzMaurice, 

" The Austrian Archduke's visit here came off 
extremely well. He and the charming Princess Stephanie 
appeared delighted — but it is really surprising to feel 
how little the vornehmer Austro-Hungarian knows about 

this country. sitting after dinner with the Queen 

of Roumania, asked H.M. whether the lady sitting 
close to them could speak anything but Roumanian, 
and was quite surprised to be told that she could also 
speak French, German and English equally well. The 

lady about whom this question was asked was , 

the wife of . The persons of the suite were surprised 

that Roumania was so large a country ; that the educated 
classes spoke French ; that everything was on the 
European pattern, etc. ; in fact, imagined the upper 
classes here did not know the use of knives and forks, 
though they did not say so. When one considers the 
important interests Austria has at stake here, all this 
is lamentable and perplexing. But the Archduke took 
full notice of their common interests in his toast at the 
dinner, and I am sure he went away a wiser man. 

"I am told that H.I.H .is more intelligent and more 
firm in character than his father : his scientific instruction 
has been more soignte, but it is to be feared that he is 
deficient in that souplesse which has contributed so much 
in enabling the present Emperor to tide over difficulties, 
and cement that monarchy which had been in such danger, 
by means of a common loyalty and affection towards 
the dynasty amongst the different and heterogeneous 
races which compose it At Bucharest the Russian 
Legation tried underhand with some boyards to strike a 
note hostile to the Hapsburgs, with a view to create some 
discordance during this Archducal visit. Nothing came of 
it, but my Austrian colleague was greatly alarmed." 

A new minister, Mr. Kallimaki Katargi, had, a year or 
two previously, been sent from Bucharest to London, 


carrying with him letters to several of Sir William White's 
English friends. 

" Kallimaki " was a name which, in a country where 
so many Greeks had ruled, could not but suggest 
" Callimachus " as its origin. Mr. Kallimaki Katargi, how- 
ever, assured me that he was not of Greek, but of Tartar 
descent, and that his name was derived from " Calinuck." 
The Phanariots must have left a very bad reputation in 
Moldo-Wallachia if it was thought more honourable to 
be descended from a Calmuck than from a Callimachus. 

This minister was a charming man and seemed by no 
means out of place in modern society, though according 
to Sir William White there was nothing he regretted so 
much as not having been born in the Middle Ages. 

Modern thought and, above all, modern equality were 
too much for him. These, however, were mere fantasies 
of the mind, known only as theoretical ideas to a few 
of his intimate friends. 

The saddest event for Sir William White of the year 1 884 
was the death of his friend Lord Ampthill, the " Odo 
Russell " of former days. Sir Robert Morier, another 
warm friend and sincere admirer of Lord Ampthill, wrote 
to Sir William the following letter in reference to the loss 
they had both sustained : 

" My dear White, 

" I was grateful for your letter about our dear Odo, 
but I couldn't answer it. I feel his loss more every day." 

Among Sir William White's letters I find one written 
by Mr. Odo Russell just fifty years ago to Mr. de 
Fonblanque at Belgrade, which is interesting as an example 
of the formal letter-writing then in vogue — especially, 
no doubt, in official circles. It is dated November 12, 
1851, from Vienna, where Mr. Odo Russell was attached to 


the Embassy of Lord Westmorland ; and the ceremonious 
conclusion preceding the signature is in four lines, where 
one would now be found sufficient 

" I have the honour to be, 

" Sir, 
" your obedient, 
" humble servant, 

"Odo Russell" 

The letter is addressed to Thomas de Grenier de 
Fonblanque, Esq., with three ctcs. after his name ; the 
same Mr. de Fonblanque to whom Lord Stratford de 
Redcliffc, in still earlier days (1843), g ave Mr. Layard a 
letter of introduction on which, after it had been presented, 
Mr. de Fonblanque jotted down critical and sarcastic 
remarks to the disparagement of its presenter. 

England had never had an abler representative at 
Berlin than Lord Ampthill ; and his appointment to the 
English Embassy in that capital is said to have been 
in a great measure due to the excellent effect he produced 
on Frince Bismarck at Versailles, whither he had been sent, 
as we have seen, towards the end of the Franco-German 
War to make representations in connection with Russia's 
announced intention to disregard the Black Sea clause 
in the Treaty of Paris. 

Bismarck was much pleased with what he saw of Mr. 
Odo Russell at Versailles, and this was held to be, and 
probably was, a sufficient reason for sending him to Berlin. 
It might be said that the sort of ambassador whom a 
foreign minister like Bismarck would prefer, would be one 
of a soft and yielding disposition. Nevertheless, England 
had never more influence at Berlin than in the days of 
Odo Russell, who occupied his important post for some 
dozen years until his death in 1884. Prince Bismarck 
speaks of him with marked respect in his Memoirs, and 


refers to him as one of the few Englishmen he could call 
to mind who spoke good French without being a bad man. 
Then, however, he reflects that, by way of corrective, 
Lord Ampthill spoke excellent German. 

Lord Ampthill had all the suavity of the trained 
diplomatist who has had influence enough to get trans- 
ferred in his promotion from one great capital to another. 
I had the pleasure of meeting him several times at 
Versailles, and once dined in his company at the quarters 
of a Prussian officer of my acquaintance who had 
established himself in a house near the outposts, where 
he had a fine set of apartments, his own cook, and his 
own well-stocked wine cellar — practically his own, by the 
sometimes agreeable customs of war. 

Lord Ampthill was singularly unlike Sir William White, 
who had never been stationed at any of the great 
European capitals ; though Warsaw, Belgrade and 
Bucharest had prepared him admirably for Constantinople. 
The diplomatic mill turns out excellent men ; Lord 
Ampthill and Sir Robert Morier had both been through 
it. But for Constantinople the best sort of man is the 
one who has studied the Eastern Question in all its 
branches, in all its bearings, and as much as possible on 
the spot. To have practised diplomacy at Paris and 
Berlin, at Madrid and Rome, can help but little. The 
diplomatic routine may give its followers suppleness and 
style. But for the Eastern Question knowledge of the 
subject is above all necessary. 

Towards the end of 1884 the diplomatic monotony of Sir 
William White's life at Bucharest was rudely broken into 
by Lord Granville with a letter from Walmer Castle dated 
December 22, proposing that he should go to South America. 

" Dear White/' begins Lord Granville's characteristically 
laconic epistle, "Should you like me to propose you 


to the Queen as H.M.'s representative at Rio or Buenos 
Ayres? I presume you would prefer the former on 
account of salary and pension ? 

" Yours sincerely, 

" Granville." 

It appears from the interesting memoir of Sir William 
White contributed by Lord Edmond FitzMaurice to the 
Speaker for January 2, 1892, that towards the end of 1884, 
when a considerable movement took place in the Diplo- 
matic Service, Sir William White was on the point of being 
promoted to Constantinople. But difficulties were at the 
last moment interposed, 

"Sir Edward Thornton," writes Lord Edmond Fitz- 
Maurice, "was transferred from St Petersburg to the 
Shores of the Bosphorus. And then for a moment there 
seemed a chance of Sir William White's career not 
receiving the appropriate crowning of the edifice. The 
Legation at Rio fell vacant, and was offered to him 
by Lord Granville. He hesitated, and had all but 
accepted, when he one day appeared in my room at 
the Foreign Office, and asked my advice. I told him 
that if he persisted in asking it inside the Foreign Office 
I had of course but one duty, which was to advise him 
to accept the post which my chief had offered him, but 
that, if he would walk round the Park with me, I thought 
we might discuss the question on its merits. With one 
of his great shouts of laughter he accepted the suggestion, 
and we started. Then 1 told him that I thought that 
at Rio, away from his beloved Roumans, Poles, Croats, 
Turks, Serbs, Slovenes and Bulgars, he would die of sheer 
ennui in three months ; that he had only got to wait a little 
longer and the big prize must be his ; and that if he did 
not get it, he was a great man at Bucharest and would be 
comparatively nobody at Rio, though his official dignities 
might be greater. I had my reward when, at the end of 
1886, I received the following letter, dated, 

"The Embassy, 
" Constantinople, 

" ' My dear FitzMaurice, 

" • I have no news of any kind to give you from 



here; but I feel very happy not to have gone to Rio 
or Pekin in 1884 or 1885. 

" ' Ever yours truly, 
" ' W. A. White. 

Another excellent friend of Sir William's, Sir Charles 
Dilke, wrote to him as follows about the Rio business : 

" My dear White, 

M am very glad you're not going into South 
American exile. That's all I can say. 

" Yours, 

" C. W. D." 

Of the year 1884 in connection with Mr. White there 
is little to add. It may be mentioned, however, that 
in this year, when he was still at Bucharest, an endeavour 
was made to introduce at Constantinople the greatest 
reform that had been attempted since the abortive 
proclamation of the Turkish constitution. Eight years had 
passed since the sittings of the Constantinople Conference 
which had witnessed the promulgation, to the sound of 
artillery, of the measure guaranteeing to all Christian 
as to all Turkish subjects every kind of civil and religious 
liberty. It was now proposed to establish a national postal 
system ; and a note was addressed to the representatives 
of the Great Powers informing them that the foreign 
post-offices hitherto tolerated must now be suppressed, 
Turkey having taken steps for establishing a General 
Post-office of her own. This ambitious project, however, 
proved a hopeless failure ; and the privileges of foreign 
governments in regard to the collection and distribution 
of letters were not again interfered with until nearly 
twenty years later when another false move in the same 
direction was made. 


Though nothing took place from 1881 to 1884 that 
demanded Sir William White's immediate diplomatic 
attention, troubles of a menacing kind arose between 
Servia and Bulgaria. The affairs of Servia no longer 
concerned Sir William White in any direct manner now 
that he was Minister at Bucharest. But the little mis- 
understanding between the two neighbouring Slavonian 
States gradually assumed a character which menaced the 
tranquillity of the whole Balkan Peninsula. 
' It was understood that Russia would interfere no more 
with the development of the new Balkan States, which 
maintained friendly relations with one another until the 
the summer of 1884, when trouble occurred between 
Bulgaria and Servia in connection with a number of 
Servian refugees, who, in spite of the protests of the 
Servian Government, had been allowed to pass the winter 
in the Bulgarian towns adjoining Servian territory. 

A dispute, moreover, arose about a corner of frontier 
land called Bregova, so small that it was overlooked by. 
the Plenipotentiaries at Berlin. Bregova had belonged to 
Servia before the Conference ; and, though it lay on the 
Bulgarian bank of the river Timok, now dividing Servia 
from the newly created Bulgaria, it was still guarded 
by a couple of Servian sentinels. Six years after the 
signing of the Berlin Treaty, in the summer of 1884, 
the few acres held by Servia on the wrong side of the 
stream were entered by a Bulgarian regiment, the Servian 
sentinels retiring before it. 

Servia now ceased diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. 
But the two princes — Alexander and Milan — exchanged 
letters and soon came to an ingenious arrangement by 
which the Bulgarian regiment occupying Bregova was 
to be withdrawn and replaced for one hour by a Servian 
regiment. Then the Servian regiment was in its turn 


to be marched back, after which the question as to the 
ownership of the Bregova field was to be referred to 
the Great Powers. 

Nothing could have been fairer on both sides. But the 
Bulgarian Premier refused to be bound by the arrange- 
ment which Prince Alexander had accepted ; and as 
a constitutional sovereign, the Chief of the Bulgarian 
State had to bow to the decision of the Prime Minister 
and his Cabinet. 

Negotiations, however, were still going on, when 
suddenly the Servians heard of the revolution at Philip- 
popolis by which Northern Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia 
became united and the population of Bulgaria doubled 
in number. Instead of rejoicing at the formation of a 
strong Bulgaria in the interest of Slavism generally, 
Servia felt indignant at Bulgaria's increase of power and 
prepared to attack her. 

For Bulgaria, a state for the most part Slavonian, 
wished now to take precedence of Servia, the Slavonian 
State par excellence of the Balkan Peninsula ; and this 
could not be endured. The Bulgarians began by re- 
treating ; and the Servians, following them, occupied 

Prince Alexander had not enough troops in hand. 
But he saw that if he could only delay the Servian 
attack for a day or two, he should be able to repel it 
Then, hurrying up fresh regiments, keeping the Servians 
meanwhile at bay, he at last on the third day inflicted 
on his enemy a signal defeat But he was not allowed 
to pursue the beaten foe. Austria and Russia had both 
been looking on, and the Austrian Consul-General at 
Belgrade informed Prince Alexander that if he advanced 
any farther he would find himself confronted by Austrian 
troops, while the Russians would at the same time take 


up a position in his rear. The war was now at 
an end. 

The conflict between Servia and Bulgaria was admirably 
calculated to bring into disrepute the petty States formed 
out of the remains of what Sir Henry Layard insisted 
to the last on calling u Turkey in Europe." 



EIGHTEEN hundred and eighty-five was the year 
of Sir William White's appointment as Ambassador 
ad interim to the Porte, the year also of the election of 
Prince Alexander of Bulgaria to the Governorship of 
Eastern Roumania, and of the war between Bulgaria and 
Servia, to which the bringing together of the two Bulgarias 
naturally led. 

What changes had taken place in European Turkey 
since 1875, the year of Sir William White's arrival at 
Belgrade. Then Servia was still a vassal State without 
any apparent intention of drawing the sword against 
her Turkish suzerain, while Bulgaria was not even a 
'geographical expression/ 1 but merely the name some- 
times given to a vague region inhabited by Bulgarians, 
Greeks and others in varying proportions. He had seen 
European Turkey destroyed by the Treaty of San Stefano, 
and only partly restored by the Treaty of Berlin. 

Russia, meanwhile, had in the Balkan Peninsula gained 
nothing from Turkey except the Dobrudja, of which 
she made a compensatory present to Roumania, while 
depriving her ally of the corner of Bessarabia ceded to 
Moldavia after the Crimean War. 

Servia had acquired her independence (apart only from 
formal recognition by the European Powers) before Mr. 
White left Belgrade ; and Roumania had practically 
gained hers before his arrival at Bucharest. 


While Roumania and Servia became independent, Bosnia 
and the Herzegovina passed beneath the " protection * of 
Austria ; a solid acquisition for the " protecting " State, 
since though at first Austria was only to ''administer 
the two provinces, this did not prevent her from raising 
taxes and levying troops in her new possessions. 

Thus as one of the results of the Panslavist Crusade, 
Bosnia and the Herzegovina — two purely Slavonian 
countries — became lost to the Slavonians. 

If the States of the Balkan Peninsuala should ever 
form a general confederation, Bosnia would be out of it ; 
while if a specially Slavonic Confederation, apart from 
Greece and Roumania, should be brought about, Bosnia 
will be equally out of that. 

The political Panslavic cry of 1877 could not, of course, 
include Roumania ; and it was not strong enough to save 
Bosnia. Nor did the Slavonic brotherhood which should 
have bound together Servia and Bulgaria prevent these 
little states on small provocation from falling upon one 
another's throats. 

In the days before Fanslavism, Roumanians, Slavonians 
and Greeks were all, as " Greek Christians," under the 
political patronage (if not legal protection) of Russia. 
Now, between the three great nationalities of the Balkan 
Peninsula, endless jealousies and dissensions have arisen. 

It must in fairness be admitted that in their darkest days : 
these oppressed nationalities looked for succour and aid to \ 
Russia — nor looked in vain. The late Eugene Schuyler, 
in his excellent History of Peter tlie Great dwells on 
the fact, as testifying to the sincerity of the Russians 
in their sympathy for the Eastern Christians, that the 
first combination against Turkey in which Orthodox 
Russia took part was formed under the auspices of the 
Pope, with two Catholic Powers, Austria and Poland, as 


leading members of the league. Peter the Great's £**h»« 
moreover, Alexis Mikbailowitch (son of Hffikhati or 
Michael, first of the Romanoffs) had previously en- 
deavoored, though in vain, to bring about a general 
European alliance against the Turks ; and there was no 
more reason far accusing him of interested motives than 
far bringing a similar charge against him in connection 
with his offers of troops, money and a safe asylum, to 
Charles L 

The Russian sovereigns have again and again given 
help to their co~rdigionaries of the Turkish Empire ; 
often at a time when the members of the Greek Church 
were scarcely regarded as fellow Christians by the Church 
of Rome. 

At first the Russians looked for nothing in return. But 
how could they help those they were protecting except 
by entering into alliance with them ? And in any alliance 
so formed, was it not natural and inevitable that Russia 
should be the principal ally? In time the chief partner 
in the alliance began consciously to exercise pressure, 
until at last, towards the end of the eighteenth century, 
Catherine II, looked upon the M Greek Christians " merely 
as counters in the game she was playing. At the be- 
ginning of the nineteenth century, Alexander I. pro- 
claimed the annexation of Moldavia and Wallachia to 
the Russian Empire — though without being able to 
incorporate them in his dominions. At the making of 
peace, however, he detached from Moldavia the province 
of Bessarabia, which Turkey had no lawful power to cede 
and Alexander still less right to claim. 

Russia was now playing a political part in Turkey for 
her own advantage. But the Eastern Christians still 
looked to her and her alone for assistance ; and there 
might still, but for Russia, have been no Eastern Question. 


The visit of the Bulgarian delegates to London in 1 876 
seemed quite a novelty. But, like so many apparent 
novelties, this was only a revival. Emissaries from various 
parts of Turkey had ever since the Turkish Conquest 
visited the West in quest of assistance and with plans 
for the expulsion of the Turks from Europe. 

As time went on and Turkey became less powerful 
these agents, more or less authorised, increased in number 
until towards the end of the seventeenth century the 
representative of the oppressed Christians in Turkey 
became in political circles a figure comparable to that of 
the distressed Pole of 1831, or the Hungarian refugee 
of 1849. 

Apart from the feebler action in Western Europe of 
volunteer diplomatists from Greece, Servia, and even 
Armenia, direct communications were constantly kept up 
between the clergy of Moscow and the Patriarchs of 
Constantinople ; and when Peter the Great sent for the 
first time a Resident Ambassador to the Turkish Capital 
the Turks at once saw in Tolstoy — the personage in 
question — the embodiment of a grea* danger in the future. 

" My residence is not pleasant to them," wrote 
the ancestor of the great writer of the same name, 
" because their domestic enemies, the Greeks, are our co- 
religionaries. The Turks are of opinion that by living 
among them 1 shall excite the Greeks to rise against 
Mussulmans, and therefore the Greeks are forbidden to 
have intercourse with me. The Christians have become 
so frightened that none of them dare even pass the house 
in which I live." 

The Greeks, Servians and Armenians who came to 
Western Europe for purposes of study as well as with a 
view to the liberation of the Christians suffering persecution 
in the regions of the Unfaithful, brought with them schemes 
for the partition of Turkey and for the redistribution of 



its territory among the nations of the West Seraphim, 
who had studied at Oxford, who enjoyed the patronage 
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and who published 
in London a revised edition of the New Testament, had 
a project of dismemberment in which France, Spain, 
Abyssinia and Greece were to take part ; Constantinople 
and Anatolia being assigned to France, Syria and Jerusalem 
to Spain, Egypt to Abyssinia, Macedonia and the islands 
to Greece. 

It was to Russia, however, that the representatives 
of the Greek Christians usually addressed themselves. 
England had no interest at the time in connection with 
Constantinople— our Indian Empire had yet to be created ; 
and, in the various schemes of dismemberment proposed, 
England's active co-operation was not even asked for. 

Apart, indeed, from our sympathy with Greece, as 
Greece, in the days of Byron, no one in England 
bestowed a thought upon the condition and aspirations 
of the Eastern Christians in Turkey. Lord Strangford 
in 1863, in his admirable additional chapter to Lady 
Strangford's Eastern Shores of the Adriatic, was the first 
English writer to call attention to the general awakening 
among them, just then becoming noticeable. But the 
English nation as a whole remained indifferent to their 
fate, until suddenly it was filled with indignation and 
horror by the news of the Bulgarian massacres. 

The Bulgarians had long before that signal for their 
liberation been the pet children of Lord Strangford, 
who may fairly be said to have discovered them. He 
looked upon them as better for practical purposes than 
Slavonians of a finer breed ; a Finnish alloy giving them, 
as to the Russians themselves, a consistency and power 
of resistance in which the pure-blooded Slavonian is 
supposed to be wanting. 


Sir William White considered it not only an error, but 
a culpable error to believe that the Christian populations 
liberated from Turkish rule must of necessity fall beneath 
the domination of Russia ; and the alternative he appears 
to have held in view was a Balkan Confederation under 
the protection of Austria. 



WHEN in 1885 Prince Alexander of Bulgaria was 
elected to the governorship of Eastern Roumelia or 
" Southern Bulgaria/ 1 as it was henceforth to be called, it 
seemed as though the whole of the Eastern Question was 
about to be re-opened. England and Russia were equally 
puzzled by the event, and each Power thought the other 
responsible for it. 

The news of the union of the two Bulgarias and of the 
apathy with which the intelligence was received by the 
Porte took Lord Salisbury by surprise. But he soon saw 
that the true policy of England was to support the 
combination and help the Bulgarians, North and South, 
to maintain their independence. 

Sir William White, temporarily at Constantinople but 
expecting at any moment to be sent back to Bucharest, 
received from Lord Salisbury this note : 

"Foreign Office, 

"A^. jo., 1885. 

"Dear Sir William White, 

14 In the presence of this crisis I have asked Sir E. 
Thornton not to go to Constantinople for the present, as 
the matter had better not be taken out of your hands. 
I hope you will stay there till the atmosphere is a little 

All through the months of September and October 
Sir William White's position was uncertain. His appoint- 



mcnt was only ad interim. There was just then no 
permanent Ambassador at Constantinople. But, in 
addition to Sir William White as Ambassador ad interim, 
a special Ambassador had been sent out in the person of 
Sir Drummond Wolff, whose difficulties, according to Lord 
Salisbury, were very great, " more owing to our political 
position in England than to any other cause." 

"It is like the difficulty," continued Lord Salisbury, 
" that a man has in getting credit from the neighbouring 
tradesmen when he is only staying at an hotel. Never- 
theless, I think the mission is doing good, and is dissipating 
a good deal of suspicion." 

Lord Salisbury, moreover, thanked Sir William for ,c the 
hearty and vigorous assistance " he was giving to the 
mission, and added : 

u I should be veiy glad if I had an opportunity of 
liquidating the debts under which I feel we stand to you 
for the public service you have done both now and at 
other times in the past. I will gladly take such an 
opportunity if I have it. I may mention confidentially 
to you that Her Majesty has expressed to me strongly 
her opinions in favour of your claims. I hope some 
practicable arrangement may be thought of." 

As soon as it became evident that the enlarged Bulgaria 
wished to be self-governing and to dispense, therefore, 
as much as possible with assistance and advice from 
Russia, then the enlarged Bulgaria was looked upon 
with favour in England ; and Sir William White in the 
fulfilment of his mission took it as much as possible 
under his care. It was perfectly right that this should 
be so, in the interest of England, of Turkey and of 
Bulgaria itself. But it was natural, perhaps, that the 
Russians should feel annoyed. 

One of the ablest of Sir William White's correspondents, 


Sir Robert Morier, suggested to him in a series of most 
interesting letters from St. Petersburg, that since Russia 
and England had professedly the same object in view — 
the welfare, that is to say, of the Bulgarians— some joint 
course of action might possibly be devised to which 
neither Power could logically object. 

Our Ambassador in Russia believed, at the time, 
like the Russians themselves, that the union of the two 
Bulgarias was due to some action or suggestion on the 
part of England. But Lord Salisbury had at first con- 
demned it as likely to lead to fresh complications and 
possibly a renewal of war ; which did not prevent him, 
when he saw that the union could not be undone, from 
supporting the Bulgarians and helping them to maintain 
their independence within their new frontiers. 

It has been seen that Sir Henry Layard predicted 
from the first a union of the two Bulgarias ; which, 
according to him, would be brought about through 
Russian agency. A union by the means through which 
it was really accomplished had been foreseen neither by 
Sir Henry Layard nor by the English, nor by the Russian 
Government. It took every one by surprise. 

Here, meanwhile, is the first of Sir Robert Morier's letters 
on the subject : 

"St. Petbksbukg, 
" 19AI Afo., 1885. 

11 My dear White, 

" I meant to write you a long letter, the gist of which 
would have been the expression of my dissatisfaction 
with the very strong line taken by H.M.'s Government 
in going against the status quo ante. I am not speaking 
of you, than whom no one could have done better in 
carrying out a line quite clear and statesmanlike but, 
in my opinion, wrong. 

" I have only three minutes and cannot develop my 
theme. But in a few words I will say that our Asiatic 


concerns are for me en premiire ligne — our rivalry 
with Russia in Europe en seconds ligne, and very far 
behind. We were beginning very well in Asia. If the 
rivalry in Europe gets more and more accentuated we 
shall fare ill. 

"One word more. I am convinced Russia does not 
want a general war in Europe about Turkey now, and 
that she is really suffering from a gigantic Katzenjammer 
caused by the last war. We should make her task easy 
for her. 

" Please write to me by messenger. He leaves London 
every other Wednesday — next Wednesday, which will be 

"Yours ever, 

"R. B. MORIER." 

The Ambassador at St. Petersburg received from the 
acting ambassador at Constantinople the following reply : 

•• Constantinople, 

"7 Dec, 1885. 

" My dear Morier, 

" I wish I could have had a safe opportunity 
(i.e. a bag) available earlier for the purpose of replying 
properly and fully to your kind lines of Nov. 19, so 
as to disabuse you, and set your mind straight on 
certain points of our policy here. First of all as regards \ 
M. de Giers. H. E. is certainly a most peacefully dis- 
posed and conciliatory Russian Foreign Minister, but 
he will only remain in office as long as the policy of 
the Empire has an interim character and is in a state 
of transition. He is not a star, and is spoken of very 
lightly by all his Russian subordinates in the Service. 
Nothing we can do or not do will affect his official 
career, the duration of which entirely depends on the 
relations of his Imperial master with Vienna or 

" Nelidoff imagines himself one of the possible heirs to • 
de Giers's succession ; and his neurosity and ambitious 
views have combined with the Czar's personal vindic- 
tiveness against Prince Alexander, in no small degree, 
to embitter matters here and to complicate an imbroglio 


which will certainly not turn out to Russia's political 

" The Czar was at Copenhagen during the second part 
of last Sept., and M. de Giers in the Tyrol. Accordingly, 
Nelidoff put himself in direct communication with the 
Emperor, and his ambition then began to soar very 

u II Jest fait fort to master the ill-timed popular 
movement, recommending the drastic measure of recall- 
ing all the Russian officers from Bulgaria, and suggesting 
the informal meetings of ambassadors at Therapia. In 
fact he appeared to be having everything his own way; 
and he confided to a mutual friend that there was 'a 
great future' before him. At that time, and up to 
Oct 10 or 15, they were favourable here, at Vienna and 
at Berlin to the personal union. If Russia had agreed 
the whole thing would have been over by this time. 
But Nelidoff would not have it so. He carries completely 
some of the ambassadors here with him ; and their 
theories as to popular movements make me fancy some- 
times that I am living in the time of Verona, Carlsbad 
and Troppau. They speak of 'the poor Bulgarians 
oppressed by a few adventurers, and sighing to be allowed 
to return to legal order.' Their language is the same 
as was old Mettemich's ; and, later on, Bomba's about 
Neapolitans and Sicilians. Nelidoff tries to persuade 
every one, and he has evidently succeeded in persuading 
his Imperial Master and de Giers, that the threat of a 
Turkish military execution will be sufficient by itself to 
restore the Sultan's authority in Eastern Roumelia. But 
that is not true, and never was ; and it is certainly not 
the case now. Hence the theory of the loaded gun of 
which you speak so often in one of your despatches 
(No. 384 B). But, the premises being false, Russian policy 

n this question must arrive at fatal results. The status 
quo ante never could (since Oct. last) be re-established 
ui Eastern Roumelia and cannot be now. 

" A Turkish execution, to which Nelidoff is pushing and 
urging the Sultan by every means in his power, may 
subdue the Bulgarians for a time, but will bring on with 
it some disaster or other, which will be resented by 
Russia in such a way, you may be sure, that M. de Giers 
will find it extremely difficult to remain in office. 
"It is not our attitude but his own policy of counting 


on threats and recommending a concentration of 80,000 
fine Turkish troops at Adrianople which will jeopardise 
his official position. 

" If Nelidoff had taken the least trouble to seek for a 
formula at the Conference which might have ensured 
unanimity he might have got one. But he wanted 
to carry things with a high hand, thought the status quo 
ante could be rcimposcd by threats, and landed Russia 
where she now is, recommending the Turk to put down 
with the sword in his own fashion Christian orthodox 

" You will soon hear the cry from Moscow, that this 
could only happen under the rule of a Lutheran Foreign 
minister, or I am much mistaken. It is only the Sultan's 
personal antipathy to the dangers he may be incurring 
that has hitherto prevented Abdul Hamid from resorting 
to the use of force and taking the advice of Nelidoff 
et consortes, 

"By the time you receive these lines he may have 
yielded, and blood may be flowing. Yes, blood shed 
under Russia's dictation ; or wiser counsels may prevail 
and negotiations with Prince Alexander may already 
have been initiated. 

"As to the line we have adopted, I am sure you 
must approve of it. The future European Turkey — to 
Adrianople, at any rate — must, sooner or later, belong 
to Christian races. There is no example in history, since 
the siege of Vienna, two centuries ago, of the Turk's 
having regained any inch of soil that he has once yielded 
to native races. Is Eastern Roumelia to constitute an 
exception to this rule? We have always been accused 
by Russia and her agents in the East of being the 
chief obstacles to the emancipation of Christian races in 
European Turkey. The reasons for a particular line of 
policy on our part have fortunately ceased to exist, and 
we are free to act impartially and to take up gradually, 
with proper restraints, the line which made Palmerston 
famous in regard to Belgium, Italy, etc. The Russians 
have made sacrifices to liberate Greece, Servia and the 
Principalities. But they have lost all their influence in 
Greece, Servia and Roumania. 

"Montenegro alone has remained faithful and grateful. 

" They are now about to lose the Bulgarians. They 
accuse us of trying to supplant them in the affection 



of these people. Like most of the accusations sown 
broadcast against la perfide Albioti in Russia, these 
charges are either untrue or shallow, and will not bear 
critical examination. These newly emancipated races 
want to breath free air and not through Russian nostrils. 
A qui la faute ? The Russian official world looks upon 
its own system as perfect; but others cannot see it in 
this light The real genuine Slav hatred in Russia is, 
by the way, against the Germans ; though it suits 
the Court and the official world to direct it against 

" I feel, of course, that all these things may have a 
contrecoup in Asia, but we cannot shape our course in 
Europe by purely Asiatic considerations. Of course, our 
great interests arc there ; but we still have European 
duties and a European position, and even European 

Then came this rejoinder : 

"St. Petbasbubg, 
"27 Dk., 1885. 

"My dear White, 

"Your letter of the 7th inst just received has 
given me the liveliest satisfaction. It has cleared up 
what was before quite obscure, and given me the key 
to the enigma which I had vainly sought ; how, with 
the undoubted, all-prevailing desire here to avoid a great 
fire there, they did not jump on to the golden bridge 
made for them in Conference, and, instead, contributed 
so much to the risk of the match being put to the 
magazine by a bond fide intervention of Turkey. I was 
sure the key would be found in a personal intrigue ; and 
if NelidofTs game was to unseat Giers, tout est dit. 

" I need not say that I take a different view of our 
policy now from what I did when I wrote my last 
letter. I had not seen enough of it then to judge it 
correctly. What I saw was a unisonous Parteinahme, 
on the part of the Press of all shades for Bulgarians 
as such. I saw what seemed the sudden change from 
the standing-ground of the Treaty of Berlin to that of 
Bulgarian atrocity-mongering, and feared this was another 
instance of the curse inseparable from our foreign policy ; 


the shaping of it, not for the good of the country, but 
for momentary Parliamentary effect. 

" Having no faith in the Panslavist heroes of the Roume- 
lian revolution, and being naturally unable to guess what 
the Bulgarian nation led by a German Prince was capable 
of on the field of battle, I certainly thought our right 
policy would have been to stick to the Treaty of Berlin 
and take the sudden conversion of Russia to the sacred 
obligation of treaties au sMeux. I believed then, and, 
I confess, I still believe now (for without our moral 
support, Prince Alexander could not have played the 
dangerous game he did) that the perfectly unanimous 
pressure of Europe, had it been at once seriously exercised, 
would have sufficed without a Turkish army of occupation 
to restore the status quo ante, which I certainly deemed 
the lesser of the many looming evils. I did not, of 
course, for one moment suppose that Lord Salisbury 
was going in for a vulgar imitation of the G. O. M. 
Bulgarian atrocity No-policy ; but I did think it possible 
that he might not resist the great temptation of dishing 
the Russians, taking the cards with all the trumps out 
of their hands, winning the game, and pocketing the 

" I saw arising a great crisis of rivalry between the 
mammoth Empires in connection with the Oriental Ques- 
tion, and this at the very moment when I had arrived 
at St. Petersburg penetrated (and this will give you the 
key of my attitude) with the conviction that the one 
object I ought to try and compass was at the very least to 
secure a modus vivendi between the two Governments. . . . 

" Was it unnatural that I should think Bulgarians hardly 
worth the jeopardising so important an object? For a 
game of rivalry it has been — it was instinctively felt to 
be such here. The very great prudence shown by Lord 
Salisbury and the consummate ability (passez mot Fexpres- 
sion) with which you played your part have made it a 
successful game ; but the one crowning good fortune which 
we mainly owe to the incalculable folly of the Servian 
attack has been that Prince Alexander's generalship and 
the fighting capacities of his Rulgaro-Roumelian soldiers 
have placed our rival action in perfect harmony with the 
crushing logic of facts. The rivalry is thus completely 
swamped in the bit of cosmic work so successfully 
accomplished. A state has been evolved out of the 


protoplasm of Balkan Chaos — a living joint been added to 
the European megatherion — and we can wear the wreathed 
smiles of a successful sage fetntne at a christening, and 
boast that we alone had foretold that it would be a 
beautiful live child, and that it was one that we had 
successfully midwifed. 

" This, though not in these exact words, is the language 
which dans tintimiU I have used to Giers. I have of 
course never admitted the possibility of rivalry. I have 
said that Russia and Great Britain are the only two countries 
who will go hand in hand in this matter. We start, it 
is true, from different principles, but we follow the same 
end ; ' you from your sympathy for your kindred ; we 
from our sympathy for people struggling to be free and 
for the right to shape their own destinies. Why, instead 
of looking out for every point on which we can disagree, 
not fix our eyes on those on which we can agree? I 
quite admit that governments cannot shape their course 
by abstract principles, however noble and however sound ; 
but in this matter by deviating horn your principles, whilst 
we have stuck to ours, you have been fighting against living 
forces which will prove too strong for you, whereas we have 
been fighting with those forces at our back.' 

" I have not of course supposed that I could produce 
any effect by such arguments ; this was not dans mm rd/i. 
I had nothing to do with the fighting ; that was your 
business at the seat of war. But I believe, within my 
sphere and with a view to the future, that a friendly and 
sympathetic attitude of this kind and an attempt to place 
fairly before H.M.G. the Russian point of view, from 
which Giers so far as he has been able has acted, was 
more statesmanlike than had I made myself a violent 
partizan of Prince Alexander and his Bulgarians. 

" Then I must confess to a congenital hatred of unfairness. 
To ignore the fact, as is done by every blessed official and 
non-official, by every paper and every sect in England, that 
the Bulgarians and other Balkan populations owe their 
actual independence from Turkey, and the prospect of 
their future autonomy, to the blood and treasure of Russia, 
is the culmination of unfairness, and from my point of 
view at the same time grossly stupid. For what good was 
ever got by refusing to look facts in the face? To get 
into hysterics, as certain people do, when the word 
Panslavism is mentioned seems to me the supreme of 


absurdity. Panslavism is a force, and, like every other 
force, is potent for good or evil. Will it survive in the 
great struggle for existence? or will it succumb to pan- 
Germanism ? Is it in our interest that it should put forth 
its strength in Europe, or be driven eastwards and put 
forth its strength in Asia? These are the questions which 
are interesting me and which I am trying to understand, 
or at least to ascertain how far they are understandable ; 
and it is on these questions that I yearn to have a great 
fulness of talk with you, because you only could give me 
a real guidance. 

" But all this is not politics. As regards the immediate 
present, I quite agree with you that it's all to the good 
that the idiotic Russian bureaucrats, after shedding the 
blood of hundreds of thousands of wretched peasants on 
the Balkan ranges, should have so managed as to earn 
the bitter hatred of the people they have by this blood 
made free. If we can help to build up these people into 
a bulwark of independent states and thus screen the sick 
man at Constantinople from the fury of the northern blast, 
for God's sake do it — as long as you do it in the natural 
course of business, and called tltereto in your character as 
one of the great European signatories, but don't go for it 
as a special British Mission. This is what I think Lord 
Salisbury and you have succeeded in doing, and why I 
so highly commend you. Only don't make this the one 
goal and object of your policy. Don't let your wheels 
heat from the rate at which you go. Don't forget that 
for us, after all, India is the dernier inot y and that we must 
never so embourber ourselves in Europe as to lose our 
liberty of action in Asia. In other words, we can only 
finally settle with Russia by a war of the most portentous 
proportions or by an Auseinandersetzung in which each 
shall have a fair share. Don't make the latter impossible 
until you see your way quite clearly to the former, and 
don't think of the former unless you can get a huge 
European coalition against the Colossus pressing down 
on the west. 

" To make a practical application you have had a great, 
an enormous diplomatic success. If we get safe out of 
the wood (and we are still in it), if you build up a Bulgaria 
under Prince Alexander without more bloodshed, if 
you succeed in establishing intimate relations between 
this Bulgaria and Roumania, the two only living states 


thereabouts, and get them to make of Silistria a common 
fortress garrisoned by both, like Mayence in the days of 
the deceased Confederation (a favourite idea of mine) you 
will have done the greatest feat of diplomacy of the highest 
kind which has been performed since poor Hudson 
obtained for England a more influential position in Italy 
than France after Solferino. 

" Having done all this, or at least a great part of it, 
don't degenerate into partizanship and egg on Prince 
Alexander against Russia or throw obstacles in the way 
of reconciliation. Thanks to his good sword, he has made 
it impossible that he should ever again be treated as a 
vassal. To keep up a state of chronic hostility between 
the new Bulgaria and Russia would serve no earthly 
purpose — except forcing us to take up the rdle of per- 
manent godfather, and thus to establish a permanent 
state of hostility between us and Russia which, I think, 
from my point of view, would be a fatal mistake. These 
views are not held in certain high quarters, and I am in 
very bad odour for holding them. But I feel sure you 
will agree with me. 

"Yours sincerely, 

°R. B. MORIER." 

The year 1885 was a critical one not only for the 
two Bulgarias and for Servia, but also for Afghanistan, 
and the relations between England and Russia in 
connection with Central Asia ; and the one dangerous 
situation seems to have influenced and to have been 
influenced by the other — to the advantage of peace. Sir 
William White had of course nothing to do with Central 
Asian affairs. But the Central Asian Question and what 
is generally known as the Eastern Question are closely 
connected ; and in a private letter of the year 1885, when 
the Pendjeh matter was still unsettled, Sir William sums 
up the Russian policy in Central Asia very briefly by 
saying that its object is to bring the Russian and English 
frontiers close together, so that Russia, with a long 
military line, which she could well afford to keep up, may 


be in contact with a long military line which England 
could only with difficulty maintain ; ready at any moment 
to provoke a breach of the peace if her interests in the 
direction of Constantinople should seem to demand it. 

Here the line of policy presents itself which Sir Robert 
Morier in his correspondence with Sir William White 
was so fond of advocating : That England should 

accommodate herself to Russia in Europe in order not 


to be disturbed by her in Asia. 

Trustworthy English statesmen seem now to hold 
that Austria and Italy are chiefly interested in stopping 
the advance of Russia towards Constantinople. But at 
a critical moment England would be interested in aiding 
them, and Russia thinks it advisable to take steps in 
Central Asia against the strong probability of such aid 
being rendered. As Sir Robert Morier was never so 
energetic in recommending his favourite policy as when 
he was Ambassador at St. Petersburg, it may be pre- 
sumed that it was in harmony with the views of the 
Russian Ministers, by whom he was highly appreciated 
and much liked. But, according to Sir William White, 
to give way too much to Russia in Europe would be to 
enable her to force us to give way to her in Asia. 

Nearly sixty years ago, in 1844, the Emperor Nicholas, 
in the course of his visit to England, proposed, not 
that Russia should be allowed a free hand in her 
dealings with Turkey, but that Russia and England should 
take no action in Turkish affairs except by agreement. 
His Majesty did not at all stipulate that Russia should ' 
have Constantinople ; but he declared, naturally enough, 
in view of her Black Sea communications, that Russia 
could not allow any other Power to establish herself 
there in lieu of Turkey. According to that remarkable 
work, fitude Diplomatique sur la Guerre de Crint/e, written 


by Baron Jomini, and published by the Russian Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs, the Emperor Nicholas engaged, in 
consideration of a clear understanding between Russia 
and England on the subject of Turkey, to leave untouched 
the three Khanates of Khiva, Bokhara and Kokand ; and 
the author adds that after the Crimean War and the 
war against Persia by which the Crimean War was 
followed, Russia for the first time since 1844 felt herself 
at liberty to pursue in Central Asia the line of policy 
which she has since been carrying out 

Anticipating Sir Robert Morier's policy, the Emperor 
Nicholas wished England to show herself accommodating 
in Europe in order that Russia should not disturb her 
in Asia. But the accommodation required in Europe 
at a critical moment was too great ; it included a pro- 
tectorate over the Greek Christians in Turkey and a 
temporary occupation (which, the Roumanians are con- 
vinced would have become a permanent one) of the 
Danubian principalities ; the independent Roumania of 
the present day. 

Thirty years after the Crimean War, Sir Robert Morier 
thought Russia and England, both professing the greatest 
interest in Bulgaria, should work together towards the 
advancement of its prosperity. But the welfare of 
Bulgaria consisted, according to the Russian view, in its 
dependence upon Russia ; according to the English view, 
in its absolute independence. 

It may be here remarked that in criticising the policy 
of his esteemed friend, Sir Robert Morier, as in his 
contests with Nelidoff at Constantinople and his frequent 
opposition to Russian policy in the Balkan Peninsula, 
Sir William White was influenced by no general prejudice 
against the Russians. To be convinced of this it is 
only necessary to remember his attitude at Warsaw, 


where to the conciliatory measures of the Grand-Duke 
Constantine and the important reforms introduced under 
the Grand-Duke's auspices he gave, equally with Lord 
Napier at St. Petersburg, the warmest possible support. 

Meanwhile — to return from political theories to historical 
facts — the three days' war between Servia and Bulgaria 
was like a fight between two street urchins, tolerated for 
a time by two grown-up lookers-on, who as soon as the 
battle became serious threatened to punch the combatants' 
heads unless they desisted : whereupon they left off. 

Prince Alexander's military success ought, one would 
have thought, to have strengthened his position. But a 
series of plots were formed against him ; and nine months 
after his victory at Slivnitza he was surprised in his 
palace by a band of conspirators, compelled to sign an 
act of abdication, and forcibly removed from the country 
over which he had been called upon to reign. 

The Russians showed themselves quite prepared for 
the event, and at once sent Prince Dolgorouky to Bulgaria 
to take charge of the government — ordering him back, 
however, when it was found that Prince Alexander had 
returned. It was avowedly in order to conciliate Russia 
that Prince Alexander finally disappeared. 

The English Consul-General at Sofia, Captain Jones, 
V.C., a man of great energy, did all that was possible 
to encourage the Prince and to discourage his opponents. 
But as Russia did not wish Prince Alexander to remain, 
and as he appears himself to have been under the 
impression that he had received his crown from Russia, 
he was obliged to go. 

Just after Prince Alexander's return to Bulgaria the 
English Consul-General sent a telegram to Sir William 
White at Constantinople, asking him whether there was 
any likelihood of a Turkish occupation ; to which a 



negative reply was sent What the Bulgarians roost 
feared was a Russian occupation, the true suzerain of 
Bulgaria being at that time not the Sultan of Turkey but 
the Tsar of Russia. Had not Prince Alexander himself 
said that he "owed his crown to Russia"? 

But who would have supported Prince Alexander had 
he remained in Bulgaria ? Not his own army ; not in 
any practical manner the population of Bulgaria — by its 
Parliament badly represented, by its Government betrayed ; 
not the Sultan ; not any one of the powers under whose 
auspices the Prince had been elected : only Captain Jones. 

The policy pursued by England in connection with 
Prince Alexander's final disappearance from Bulgaria was a 
strictly legal one. The Foreign Secretary, Lord Iddesleigh, 
instructed Sir William White at Constantinople to call 
the Sultan's attention to the fact that Prince Alexander 
had quitted Bulgaria, a vassal state of the Sultan ; and 
that the country whose chief had acknowledged the 
Sultan as his suzerain was now without a ruler. 

But the Sultan didn't mind ; and to have urged upon 
him the adoption of any definite course would have been 
by implication to promise him support. 

Here are two interesting letters addressed to Sir William 
White on the subject (with occasionally a necessary 
omission) by Lord Iddesleigh. 

" August 27, 1886. 

" Dear Sir W. White, 

" Writing to you just now is rather like shooting 
an arrow into the air, but I send a line to express a 
hope that you will keep me fully and confidentially in- 
formed of what goes on in Bulgaria, and will favour me 
with your appreciation of the bearing of these events 
upon the general question of Eastern policy. From my 
conversation with the German and Austrian representatives, 
I gather that they would rather prefer that the Prince 


should not come back again. ' If he does not return/ 
said Count Hatzfcldt, 'matters will be easily arranged; 
but if he does, there will be difficulties from the side of 
Russia/ He would not attempt to say precisely what 
Russia would do, but he shrugged his shoulders signifi- 
cantly. I told them I considered that the Porte ought 
to summon the Prince to come back and restore order, 
but that I found it would not do anything. Turkey, he 
said, was mortally afraid of Russia, and would do nothing 
to irritate her. Besides, Russia did not worry the Porte 
with questions of reform as we did. She went to war 
sometimes, and took a morsel of land, but then left them 
to repose. England did not take the land, but she 
destroyed the repose. . . . 

"In great haste, 

* Yours faithfully, 

" Iddesleigh." 

"Dec. 30, 1886. 

" Dear Sir W. White, 

" The Bulgarian delegates have arrived here, and I 
have had a long conversation with them, if it is to be 
called a conversation, ubi tu pulsus ego vapulo tantum> 
for I said very little beyond expressing general sympathy 
and asking a few questions. I met Stoiloff later in 
the evening. He expressed a hope that they would not 
be allowed to return 'empty handed.' I told him I 
thought their visits to the different capitals had done 
great good to their cause by showing Europe what 
manner of men they were (I did not use that expression, 
but it was what I meant to convey), and that their objects 
were patriotic and reasonable. What did they think we 
could do for them ? They must remember that an ostenta- 
tious display of interest on our part was likely to do them 
more harm than good. They evidently hanker after 
some encouragement on the part of one or two at least 
of the Powers which would enable them to proceed at 
once to the election of a Prince (not necessarily P. 
Alexander) ; and if he were refused by one or more 
powers they would go on quand mime. I explained to 
him that we could not in such a case afford them 
material support, and should only have done them an 
injury. There is no doubt that the problem is an ex- 
tremely complicated one." 



AFTER Lord Salisbury's return to office in 1886 
there was little to engage his attention in the East, 
and the first letter from his pen to be found in Sir 
William White's collection is dated 1887. 

It dealt with an inquiry put by Sir William White as 
to whether the Bulgarian Regents should be encouraged 
to take advantage of the existing lull and of Russia's 
apparent moderation, to settle up the Bulgarian Question. 

Lord Salisbury could only repeat the advice which he 
had given to the Bulgarian delegates in London : not to 
quarrel with Russia, but not to give up any fragment of 
their independence. 

Sir William White thought time was on the side of 
the Bulgarians ; that Austria and Russia were more likely 
to go further asunder than to come nearer together, and 
that Austria, therefore, would probably work more with 
Bulgaria in the future. 

According to some of Sir William White's German 
friends, Russia was becoming disgusted with the un- 
grateful kinsfolk she had liberated, and now looked 
forward to a complete vassalage of the Porte as the best 
means of obtaining full power over the Straits and the 
Black Sea. 

Towards the middle of April, 1887, Sir W. White 
received from Lord Salisbury a humorous letter setting 



forth that, according to representations made to him, the 
interests of the English holders of Turkish bonds were 
being neglected. 

"I promised/' continued the letter, "to represent the 
bond-holder to you in a favourable light, as the embodi- 
ment and expression of the Sultan's financial good faith. 
But at the same time I warned Bouverie that nothing was 
at present to be got for him — especially out of the tributes 
of Bulgaria and E. Roumelia. The utmost we can offer 
him is a tender, but perfectly platonic, expression of 

A letter addressed about this time to Sir W. White 
from an eminent Statesman, on the general aspect of 
European affairs contained this remarkable passage : 

" The present aspect of European affairs is rather 
puzzling. The best explanation I can offer is that 
Bismarck has tried to induce Russia to sit still and take 
a bribe while France is being crushed ; and that Russia 
has declined. Next, he has tried to get Russia involved 
in the Balkan Peninsula ; and here too he has failed. And 
now he is thinking what he shall try next. But I believe 
he is still true to the main principle of his policy, employ- 
ing his neighbours to pull each other's teeth out" 

The Sultan seemed now to be gradually becoming 
reconciled to the idea of a big Bulgaria, and was even 
said to look upon it as the best bulwark against Russia. 
Some people, on the other hand, declared that the horror 
of being obliged to rely on such a defence was enough 
in itself to make Russian vassalage tolerable to him. 

The year did not pass without a letter from Sir Robert 
Morier, who, in November, 1887, wrote to Sir William 
White, from St Petersburg, the following vivacious and, 
in the closing passages, somewhat startling epistle : 

" My dear White, 

" I am so remiss in reading the confidential print 
(indeed, it requires a supernatural effort for me to wade 


through these evacuations of infinite donkeys) that it was 
only quite recently that I stumbled across your protest 
about my conversation with GreppL I was shocked to 
see that you had fancied I had allowed what appeared 
to you a tUnigrant observation respecting yourself to pass 
unchallenged. But, though the matter is now so remote 
that I cannot remember the exact words, I must most 
positively assure you that there was nothing of the sort 
said by Greppi, and that if there had been I should have 
taken it up. 

"We were both 'put out 9 at the persistent way in 
which we heard on all sides that it was beyond doubt 
that Giers had threatened an occupation of Varna or 
Erzeroum when we knew this was not true ; and various 
suggestions were made — and amongst others, so far as 
I recollect (I have not time to look up my despatch, as 
messenger is just off), Greppi said that what with NelidofF 
and the Turks and the atmosphere created at Constan- 
tinople, it almost seemed as if even men like Blanc 
and White could not always diagnose correctly, or some 
words to that effect As he has the greatest admiration 
for Blanc, and knows that you are one of my oldest friends 
and I one of your oldest admirers it would have been 
quite absurd for me to take up a perfectly innocent 

" You and I occupy such absolutely opposite poles in 
this Eastern Question that it would be a waste of paper 
to enter into discussion of it, though perhaps we may 
do so some day vivd voce ; I am, however as you know, 
very Catholic in my views, and can admire a real work 
of art, though it's not in my own style, and I cannot say 
how highly I appreciate the splendid manner in which 
you have gM your Embassy since your arrival at Con- 
stantinople. I wish poor Odo had been alive to appreciate 
it with me. Nevertheless, for the ultimate success of your 
policy, you would require to have at your back a wan, 
with the very newest re^ating-rifle, very sharp balls 
and very dry powder, and not a Philistine carrying a 
blunderbuss loaded with cowdung." 

Sir Robert Morier's picture of the typical English 
statesman is not a flattering one. But possibly it was 
of the nation at large that he was thinking ; that 





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IBM t"^H M?VC 

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tfc^^l i 


I 1 


I I 


"Johannes de Tauro" whom he mentions in a much earlier 
letter as anxious to find a capable drover and unable, 
meanwhile, to think himself the fine fellow he once used 
to be. 

In connection with Bulgaria, the year 1887 is memorable 
as the one in which Prince Ferdinand of Coburg was 
elected to the throne. Russia, Turkey and all the Powers 
protested against the election. But the Prince, in spite of 
orders to leave and attempts at arrest and assassination, 
still remained and has already enjoyed a reign of 
fourteen years. 

Early in February, 1888, Sir William White received 
an interesting but alarming communication (originating 
with one of the Turkish Ambassadors abroad) on the 
subject of a speech just delivered by Prince Bismarck. 
The speech caused no particular sensation in Europe ; 
but, according to the Turks, it was nothing less than 
an invitation to destroy Turkey without disturbing the 
general peace ; and this, it was said, could be done through 
an advance upon Erzeroum. They did not believe in 
an attack on Bulgaria, being convinced that the Russians 
would endure almost anything rather than widen the 
breach between themselves and a Slav nation. 

There were no signs generally perceptible of any inten- 
tion to march upon Erzeroum. But the Turkish appre- 
hensions on the subject may be worth remembering. 

Sir Henry Elliot had contributed to the Nineteenth 
Century a very interesting article on Turkish affairs 
(before referred to in connection with the Conference of 
Constantinople) in which the account given of the cir- 
cumstances attending the death of the Sultan's predecessor. 
Abdul Aziz, could scarcely fail to displease Abdul Hamid. 
the actual occupant of the throne. Rustem Pasha, Turkish 
Ambassador in London, made a formal representation 01 


the subject ; and he at the same time complained of an 
attack upon the Sultan as Caliph published by the Punjab 
Times. He was assured that the Punjab Tifnes was 
unknown in England, and that " the power of the 
government of India over the Press was scarcely more 
effective than that of the Home Government." 

Sir Henry Elliot was certainly the last person whom 
his enemies of the year 1876 would have expected to 
turn against the Sultan. 

It seemed in 1888, as it has seemed so often since the 
war of 1877, that Sir Henry Layard's favourite prediction 
as to the impossibility of replacing the Turkish Empire 
by a number of petty states, all jealous of one another, 
might once more be illustrated. There had already been 
a war between Servia and Bulgaria ; and now Greece, 
against whose claims Servia, Bulgaria and Roumania 
were all protesting, came forward to assert ancient 
pretensions which modern developments had rendered 

In the old days, before nationality questions had taken 
form, the Christian populations of the Balkan Peninsula 
used to be described in a general way as " Greeks " : Greek 
Christians, that is to say. In the time of the Greek 
struggle for independence the "hetaerae" were the 
champions of Christian emancipation in Servia and 
Roumania as in Greece itself. The language of the 
Church, of the schools, of business, and of educated society 
in all the Christian provinces was Greek ; and the replace- 
ment of Turkey by a .reconstructed Greek empire, with 
Constantinople as its capital, was looked upon as a natural 
and possible solution of the Eastern Question. Even Mr. 
Stratford Canning — afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe 
— held this now untenable view in 1826; nor had Prince 
Albert given it up in 1854. To Prince Albert's idealistic 


project Lord Palmerston objected that it involved co- 
operation with Russia our enemy, against Turkey our ally. 

The rise of other Balkan nationalities, Roumanian and 
Slavonian, has destroyed the dream of a greater Greece ; 
and now the only hopes the Hellenes have of advancing 
their boundaries is through the predominance of the Greek 
language in a few outside provinces or districts. On the 
other hand, the Roumanian and Albanian populations on 
the borders of the Greek kingdom have begun to cultivate 
their separate nationalities, the Roumanians being en- 
couraged in this direction by educational grants from the 
Bucharest Government. 

The constant agitation of the Greeks against their 
Roumanian and Slavonian competitors for the Turkish 
inheritance, called for no official notice on the part of 
the English Ambassador at Constantinople, though it 
could not but engage his attention. Meanwhile, Sir 
William White's active interference was urgently demanded 
by events in Armenia, where attempts were said to have 
been made towards the re-establishment of the ancient 
Armenian kingdom : feeble attempts suppressed with 
ferocious cruelty. 

Sir William White questioned the Grand Vizier on 
the subject, and was assured that the Government 
possessed evidence of a deeply laid, widely spread 
conspiracy which must be routed out and put an end 
to. The Armenians, on their side, appealed to the 
English Government ; which declared its inability to take 
action under the Treaty of Berlin, though it professed 
its readiness to do so if the other Powers would co-operate. 

By a special article of the Treaty of Berlin, the Sublime 
Porte was bound to grant to the Christians of Armenia 
the same religious liberty and personal security enjoyed 
by the Christian inhabitants of the European provinces. 



The English Government now made it its own special 
duty to urge the Porte to do justice to the Armenians, 
although the Berlin Treaty does not authorise any Power 
without the consent of the co-signatories, to intervene in 
the internal affairs of Turkey. A certain chieftain, Moussa 
Bey, who had been the principal leader in the systematic 
outrages against the Christians at Van, Bitlis and Mush, 
was brought to trial without result ; and Sir William 
White wrote to his Government that there was a powerful 
clique at Constantinople ready to go to any length in 
order to prevent this wretch from being fully examined. 

Moussa Bey was in fact acquitted, and the trial of the 
various generals and officials accused of complicity in the 
massacres of Van, Bitlis and Mush was such a mockery 
of justice that Sir William White addressed to his Govern- 
ment an indignant complaint 

It is difficult to imagine an embassy more hardly 
worked than that of Constantinople, where, apart from 
the Eastern Question in its most oppressive form, the am- 
bassador has to occupy himself with such minor branches 
of it as the condition of Bulgaria, the rival claims of Bul- 
garia and Servia, the aspirations of Greece and her conflicts 
on the one hand with Turkey, on the other with the newly 
created Slavonian States of the Balkan Peninsula. 

There were the bond-holders, moreover, constantly 
appealing to the Ambassador in connection with dividends 
no longer paid and securities no longer worth verifying. 

The ordinary office-work at the Constantinople 
Embassy, apart from political affairs, is a serious matter ; 
and scarcely a day, seldom a week, never by any chance 
a month, passed without bringing up one of those 
44 questions " which must often have been to Sir William 
White what la question in former days was to a first- 
class criminal. 



THE last important matter with which Sir William 
White had to deal was the passage of the Straits 
by Russian ships carrying troops. 

Fifteen years before, in 1876, Prince Gortchakoff had 
made known through a letter published in the official 
Journal de St. Pitersbourg that all Russia desired from 
Turkey was full liberty for her commercial ships to pass 
in and out of the Black Sea ; and this, he added, could 
be secured with comparative ease from a power in so 
feeble a condition. Russia, therefore, desired nothing 
more than the maintenance at Constantinople of the 
status quo. 

That Russia in regard to the Straits could do with 
Turkey much as she pleased was plainly shown in the 
year 1891, when several vessels of the Russian "Volunteer 
fleet," with arms and troops on board, sailed from the 
Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and thence to the Pacific, 
and from the Pacific by way of the Mediterranean to 
the Black Sea. 

One of these ships was stopped by the Turkish com- 
mander of the Dardanelles who pointed out that, though 
the vessel sailed under the commercial flag, it carried 
troops and munitions of war, and could not therefore 
be regarded as a vessel of trade. Explanations were 



made and assurances given ; the result of the friendly 
negotiations being that Russia, whenever she wished to 
send troops under the commercial flag from the Black 
Sea to the Pacific, was to give notice beforehand. 

In regard to ships of the Volunteer fleet returning 
from the Pacific, the Turks were even less exacting; 
all that was required from the Russian captain being 
a declaration that his ship belonged to the Volunteer 
fleet and carried unarmed soldiers who had served their 

The news of this arrangement between Russia and 
the Porte — which, from the nature of the case could not 
be kept secret— caused much excitement in England, 
Germany, Austria and Italy, the first impression pro- 
duced by the passage of the troop-ships being that 
Russia had at last obtained the right of sending war- 
vessels through the Straits. 

She had done better than that To pass war-ships, 
avowed as such, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean 
would be to incur the risk of war with the European 
Powers. To send troops through the Straits on ships 
described as " commercial " and protected by the com- 
mercial flag was to run no risk whatever. 

As the Russian Volunteer fleet had been founded in 
1885, during the tightly strained relations between Russia 
and England on the subject of the Afghan frontier, and 
avowedly with a view to the destruction of English 
commerce, it was difficult to sec how any " commercial " 
character could now be claimed for it 

Against the privilege conceded by Turkey to Russia of 
sending ships with troops on board through the Straits, 
the English Government protested diplomatically through 
Sir William White, and practically by means of a naval 


The Porte had some time before issued a circular 
note refusing permission to foreign war-vessels to execute 
manoeuvres within fifteen marine miles of the Turkish 
coast. But in spite of this prohibition the British admiral 
now landed a force on the small island of Cigri, sank 
torpedoes in the harbour, and carried out a series of 
naval operations, of which Sir William White was at 
once called upon to furnish explanations. 

Whatever explanations may have been given, they 
had apparently some connection with the passage of the 
Straits by the vessels of the Russian Volunteer fleet ; for 
the Russians now sent out a circular pointing out that 
these vessels had been running for several years between 
Odessa and Vladivostock, and that they had been granted 
free passage through the Dardanelles only because 
they sailed under the commercial flag. Inasmuch as 
they sometimes carried convicts with military guards 
and brought back time-expired soldiers, the Turkish 
authorities had occasionally detained them by mistake ; 
and, to avoid the possibility of similar misunderstandings 
in the future an arrangement had now been made 
which defined the rights of the vessels under the old 
treaty, without introducing any new principle. 

Nine years later, in the autumn of 1900, Russia took 
full advantage of her new understanding with the Porte 
in order to send troops through the Straits on their way 
to China ; a proceeding to which not one of Russia's allies 
could possibly take objection. 

The interests of Russia in the Black Sea are so much 
greater than those of Turkey, and Russia is so constantly 
extending her Power along the coasts of this partly 
Turkish, principally Russian lake, that the Russians have 
at last got into the habit of looking upon the Black Sea 
as their own and of asking why they should not go in 


and out of it freely ; why, in short, they are not entrusted 
(in the words first used by Alexander I.) with "the 
keys of their house " ? 

The fact is, the house has two occupants who cannot 
live peaceably together; and the least important of the 
two has alone a door-key and, much to the annoyance 
of the other, can pass in and out of the house in peaceful 
garb or in warlike attire whenever he thinks fit. The 
Russian occupant has also the right of ingress and 
egress, but always on the understanding that he does 
not carry arms. Dangerous weapons he must neither 
bring in nor take out For buying and selling purposes, 
however, his liberty is just as great as that of his fellow 
occupant. He may, for example, send out corn to 
England and take in wine from France without hindrance 
or limit. 

It seems hard that Russia should not be allowed to 
indulge her bellicose tastes by sending armed vessels 
through the Straits whenever she has a mind to do so. 
But this would mean sending armed vessels to and fro 
in front of the Turkish capital. 

There are historical reasons, moreover, and reasons 
derived from treaties against any such course. In the 
reign of Peter the Great, when Russia had not even a 
fishing-boat on the Euxine, the founder of the Russian 
navy was anxious to place upon it a ship or two for 
" purely commercial purposes." The reply made to his 
request was that " the Sultan would as soon see a stranger 
inside his harem as a foreign vessel on the Black Sea." 

One of Peter's advisers in reference to the Black Sea 
project was the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who seems to 
have possessed something of the diplomatic talent which 
distinguished the great political prelates of France. He 
counselled Peter not to press for permission to place a 


vessel on the Black Sea, but to build on the Sea of Azov 
as many ships as possible; saying that the day would 
come when, without waiting for leave to enter the Euxine, 
he would be able to force the passage. 

Aided by workmen from Deptford and Amsterdam, 
Peter built as many as eighty-six ships and boats of 
various kinds on the Sea of Azov and placed many of 
them under English and Dutch captains. He then 
resolved to send to Constantinople an able diplomatist 
named Ukraintseff, and to send him by sea. This, in 
spite of strenuous objections from the Pasha in command 
at Kertch, he actually did. 

UkraintsefTs arrival at Constantinople caused the 
greatest consternation, and strange rumours were now 
set going as to Russia's intention to bring ships from 
Archangel to the Mediterranean in order to force their 
way through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus into 
the Black Sea. 

No such operation, by the way, has ever yet been 
performed by Russia. An English officer holding a high 
command in the Russian navy, Admiral Elphinstone, 
after destroying the Turkish Fleet in the Bay of Tchesmi, 
forced the passage of the Dardanelles and sailed to 
Constantinople, hoping vainly that the rest of the Russian 
ships would follow him. Finding that they failed to 
do so, he ordered a cup of tea, and returned to the 
Mediterranean. Adequately supported he would beyond 
doubt have taken Constantinople. Another English 
officer in the service of his own country, Admiral 
Duckworth, sailed through the Dardanelles and made 
his way to Constantinople in 1807, when Turkey was 
in alliance with France. One of Admiral Duckworth's 
junior officers at the time was Mr. Lyons, who forty- 
seven years afterwards, as Admiral Lyons, sailed once 


more from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea ; this time 
in command of the British Fleet. 

Russia does not, even to this day, claim as actually 
belonging to her the right of sending armed vessels from 
the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. But she has already 
accustomed the Turks to the outward passage of Russian 
convict ships with soldiers on board to guard the prisoners, 
and to the homeward passage of ships bearing soldiers 
who have finished their term of service in distant Russian 

Soon after the inquiries on the subject of the passage 
of the Dardanelles by Russian troopships, about the 
middle of December, 1891, Sir William White left Con- 
stantinople for Berlin, where he proposed to spend 
Christmas with his wife and daughter. Although in 
connection with the affairs of Bulgaria and Eastern 
Roumelia he had acted with the greatest discretion, the 
Bulgarians knew well enough who had befriended them 
in their difficulty ; and when Sir William passed through 
Bulgaria, steps had to be taken at Sofia to prevent his 
being made the object of a grand political demonstration. 

The sudden change from the sunny south to the 
wintry north proved very trying ; and it was said that 
Sir William had started from Constantinople without a 
sufficient provision of furs for the last stages of his 
journey. He in any case took a severe chill, and on 
his arrival at Berlin was advised to keep to his bed- 
only, as was at first hoped, for a few days. The chill, 
however, turned to influenza, the influenza affected 
the patient's heart, and at last, almost suddenly, on 
December 28, he passed away. 

The Emperor William lost no time in telegraphing to 
the Ambassador's newly made widow the expression of 

'57-65] LAST HONOURS 257 

his sympathy and sorrow, while Sir Edward Malet, from 
the British Embassy, despatched messages to the Queen, 
Lord Salisbury, and the Sultan. A wreath sent by 
the Sultan to be placed on Sir William's coffin, was 
decked with the Ottoman colours. Another wreath was 
forwarded by the Staff of the Embassy which Sir William 
had so ably directed, and by whose members he was so 
much esteemed and beloved. Sir Edward Malet laid 
upon the coffin, by the Queen's command, a bronze wreath 
of oak and laurel leaves, with the inscription, " A mark 
of sincere respect and deep regret from Victoria R.I., 
and His Excellency deposited a like memento as a last 
token of regard from himself and Lady Ermyntrude Malet. 

Sir William White was buried with military honours 
and with the funeral escort of a full general, in the 
capital of the country where for ten years he had lived 
as consul. 

He began his career without influence or interest of 
any kind. When, in 1857, he entered the Warsaw Con- 
sulate, he had been occupied for fourteen years previously 
with agriculture and the management of his mother's 
and grandmother's land in a distant part of Poland. 
But he inspired interest and created influence as he 
went on — among his colleagues abroad and with his chiefs 
at home. The Polish Insurrection of 1863 brought him 
into communication with Lord Napier, British Ambassador 
at St. Petersburg, and with Lord Russell, Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs ; and it was on Lord Napier's recom- 
mendation that Lord Russell appointed him to the British 
Consulate at Dantzic. 

Lord Odo Russell, Ambassador at Berlin, and Sir 
Robert Morier, Minister at Munich, pressed his claims 
for the Agency at Belgrade at a moment, when, apart 
from his appointed duties as Consul at Dantzic, he had 



been doing all kinds of special work for the Foreign 
Office ; and he was still Consul-General and Diplomatic 
Agent at Belgrade when he was attached to Lord 
Salisbury at Constantinople in connection with the 

It needed no interest, no influence, to get him appointed 
a year afterwards to Bucharest; for the appointment, 
accompanied by important promotion in the matter of 
rank, was made by Lord Salisbury himself. The Foreign 
Office now supported him, whichever of the two parties 
happened to be in power ; and not only the Foreign 
Office ; but the Queen herself. So, in one of his letters, 
Lord Salisbury assures Sir William. Sir William White's 
success was due to his own personal character and to 
fortunate circumstances, of which, in virtue of his character, 
he took the fullest possible advantage. 

Sir Edward Malet, in a very interesting paper on 
diplomacy, has said that "more men have risen through 
the luck of being in the places at the moment when the 
glare of torchlight, the blaze of war lights them up, than 
through any special brilliancy of their own." Sir William 
White had three of these bits of luck ; and he had in 
each case, to quote once more from Sir Edward Malet, 
M sufficient ability to come with credit out of the ordeal" 
He had been only four years at Warsaw when Poland 
entered upon the preliminaries of a formidable insurrec- 
tion. He had scarcely reached Belgrade when Servia 
rose against the Turks. Promoted to Bucharest, he found 
himself in the capital of a country which claimed the 
recognition of its newly gained independence, but had 
many difficulties and even dangers to go through before 
its claim was acceded to by the European Powers. 

When the Prince of a tributary Roumania became king 
of an independent Roumania, Sir William White, like the 

'78-85] PROMOTION 259 

ruler of the country to which he was accredited, gained 
also two steps. As Roumania was now no longer a subject 
state, nor Charles I. a vassal Prince, so Sir William White 
was no longer a member of the Consular Service, but a 
diplomatist with a rank second only to that of ambassador. 

By this time, thanks to the skill he had shown in deal- 
ing with difficult situations on so many different occasions, 
in so many different lands,, he had acquired a high 
reputation as a diplomatist ; and he was sent to 
Constantinople in order to arrange a very difficult matter, 
which if not quickly settled might have endangered the 
peace of Europe. 

Sir William White's success in bringing about an under- 
standing with Russia in regard to the union of Bulgaria 
with Eastern Roumelia was chiefly due to his securing 
the co-operation of Austria. 



DURING his fourteen years 1 adscription to the soil 
in Poland — what a corv/e it must have been to 
the future diplomatist ! — Sir William White seems to 
have acquired no taste for the ordinary pleasures of a 
country life. In many of his letters he speaks of the 
happy days he passed with his mother and grandmother 
in Poland ; but neither hunting, shooting, nor fishing 
possessed any interest for him. As for town life, he 
cared little for the drama, and still less for music. He 
pointed out to me, however, one day, that Rubinstein 
could scarcely be called a Russian, inasmuch as, born 
in Moldavia, he belonged to a Jewish family which had 
migrated towards the Danube from Brody in Eastern 
Galicia ; and he knew Wagner, not indeed as a composer, 
but only in his character of Revolutionist at Dresden and 
of courtier at Munich. 

A German Ambassador of the present day, Herr von 
Keudell, is a pianist of the first order. Sir Henry Layard 
was a lover of pictures, and a collector of all kinds of 
artistic curiosities. Sir Robert Morier wrote brilliant 
pamphlets and magazine articles— see his unmistakable 
papers on Prussia and the Vatican, published anony- 
mously in the 1874 volume of Macmillan's Magazine. 
But Sir William White occupied himself neither with art, 
nor as a performer with literature, though he was a great 
reader of new publications in various languages on all 


kinds of political subjects. New novels he read when 
they had become such engrossing topics of conversation 
that it was difficult to get on at a dinner-party without 
knowing something about them. I cannot say whether 
he ever danced. But if so, he had, when I first knew 
him, given up dancing. He had reached the age of thirty- 
seven and with his grave air looked several years olden 
He was no smoker ; nor did he play cards — the favourite 
diversion of so many diplomatists. 

Talleyrand held that the man who did not play whist 
was preparing for himself a sad old age ; and Nesselrode 
invented, in addition to iced plum-pudding, whist with 
trumps chosen not by chance but by the dealer: one 
of the features of the famous game in its latest 

But Sir William White was neither a gourmet nor a 
whist-player. He indeed disliked gambling in its mildest 
forms ; and his son once told me that, though his father 
allowed him to play at cards, it was only on condition 
that if he won he was to give away his winnings in 
charity ; which most players would consider poor sport. 

No one who has not transacted diplomatic business 
with Sir William White can know positively what his 
methods in diplomacy were. The diplomatist's remark 
about " the bear " at the British Embassy has been already 
cited. To a Chinese Envoy who was studiously courteous,, 
and rather circuitous in his forms of courtesy, I once 
heard him say abruptly, the moment after they had been 
introduced, " What is your rank in China ? " 

"Mandarin of the second class," replied the surprised 

Never, on the other hand, did Sir William allow 
himself to be disconcerted by a sudden and direct 


"Do you know Count ?" a friend asked him, 

who had reason to believe that the Count and the 
Ambassador were not on the best possible terms. 

" I do," replied Sir William. 

" And what sort of a man is he ? " 

" Do you know him ? " 

" Yes." 

" Then you know what sort of a man he is." 

That was how he disposed of an abrupt interrogation 
addressed to himself. 

One day at Warsaw, he called with me at the Office 
of Foreign Affairs, of which Baron Osten Sacken was 
the so-called "Director." 

" How are things going on ? " he inquired. 

" Badly/' was the Russian's reply. " The military 
government can now alone deal with them." 

This time he was not abrupt, he was conciliatory and 

"The nation is sick," he answered. "The case is one 
for a physician, not a surgeon." 

As for his politics, they were those of a true diplomatist 
At Constantinople he had often to support Turkey 
and often to oppose Russia; but not because he was 
either a Turcophil or a Russia-phobe. The English 
Ambassadors who have shown themselves most strenuous 
in maintaining the Turkish Empire against its assailants 
have not for that reason been admirers of the Turks. 
The fact, previously mentioned, is worth insisting upon 
that the statesman who first expressed the wish to see 
the Turks turned out of Europe "bag and baggage" 
was not Mr. Gladstone, but Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, 
who in 1 82 1 used these words: 

"As a matter of humanity, I wish with all my soul 
that the Greeks were put in possession of their whole 

'85-91] "BAG AND BAGGAGE" 263 

patrimony, and that the Sultans were driven bag and 
baggage into the heart of Asia." 

Whether Mr. Gladstone ever saw the letter from Mr. 
Stratford Canning in which the above passage occurs 
may well be doubted. Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet was 
published in any case in 1876. Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole's 
biography of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, from which 
Lord Stratford's remarkable letter is quoted — not until 
1888. The "bag and baggage" phrase belongs in any 
case to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who used it fifty 
years earlier than Mr. Gladstone and in the same 

Sir William White entertained as much dislike as Lord 
Palmerston himself for the trained official, the perfect 
functionary, though the goings on of such personages 
afforded him at times considerable amusement. I once 
told him of a strange comedy that was being played 
between two friends of mine, one of them a high official, 
the other a retired Indian colonel. The Colonel invited 
the civil servant to dinner, and the entertainment was 
of such a magnificent character that the astonished guest 
had his evidently wealthy host looked up in the Income 
Tax papers, when it appeared that he paid on his 
pension of £1,100 a year (old East India Company's 
scale) and on nothing more. That house in Piccadilly, 
that retinue of servants — the plate, the wine, the two 
dozen guests represented an income of much more than 
£1,100 a year ; and the eminent functionary soon dis- 
covered that his military friend drew in addition to his 
pension several thousands a year from an Indian paper 
of which he was proprietor. He caused some fifty letters 
in succession to be addressed to the Colonel, demanding 
particulars as to the profits derived from the journal 
in question ; but at last, receiving no sort of reply, and 


poseessing no direct evidence against his friend, abandoned 
the pursuit. 

"That man was a thorough bureaucrat/ 1 said Sir 
William, when he heard the story. "The office before 
everything. Friendship and the amenities of private life, 
nowhere. In the midst of his pleasures |he is always 
thinking of the department But the type is rare in 
England ; and it is interesting to meet with it. In 
Germany it abounds/ 1 

The position and authority of Sir William White at 
Constantinople, his frankness and urbanity, together with 
a certain superficial roughness which his enemies sometimes 
mistook for asperity of character, have been well described 
by an American friend of his, Mr. Edward Grosvenor, 
Professor at Robert's College in the Turkish Capital. At 
the time of Sir William's death Professor Grosvenor had 
retired to his native America, and on receipt of the sad 
news, he at once published in the Independent of New 
York, a most interesting article on the man he so much 

" The position of British Ambassador at Constantinople," 
wrote Professor Grosvenor, "is almost Vice-regal, the salary 
but little less than that of President of the United States. 
An immense Winter Palace in Pera, and one for summer 
hardly less sumptuous on the Bosphorus ; gunboats and 
despatch boats, and steam launches, trains of carriages 
and horses constantly at his disposal, troops of diplomatic 
attaches and household servants, and crimson-coated 
soldiers, and gilt-bedecked cavasses maintained for his 
convenience and splendour by Great Britain, and a hundred 
accessories more, of almost kingly rank and state, are 
outward manifestations of his dignity and grandeur. Yet, 
the recipient of so much, he is expected by the value 
and importance of his services to merit it all the more. 
But since Lord Stratford de Redcliflfe, still reverently 
called by the Ottomans * Buyouk Eltchi' ('The 
Great Ambassador'), the career of not a single British 


Ambassador at Constantinople, with the possible excep- 
tion of the versatile Lord Dufferin, could be called a 
great success. 

"Sir William White has revived the best traditions of 
successful British diplomacy. With no act of meanness 
staining his record, with no scandal resting upon him or 
his house, in a humdrum period of peace, which afforded 
no opportunity for spectacular display, he has vindicated 
British claims, advanced British interests, and increased 
British influence all through the East. 

" In Sir William White not a feature or intonation 
suggested the traditional diplomat No inexperienced 
stranger standing for the first time in his presence could 
have dreamed that in that ambassadorial school of 
Constantinople wherein arc sharpened the keenest in- 
tellects, he was of all proficients the subtlest and profound- 
est. No man better loved a joke ; no man could better 
repeat a rousing story, not only once or twice ; and after 
each tale he told would come peals of roaring laughter 
that seemed to reverberate from all the recesses of his giant 
frame. In imagination, I hear him say again, ' Isn't that 
a good story ? Hah ? ' his invariable after-question, while 
his form would be again convulsed with continued and 
resonant mirth. His face inspired confidence and respect. 
Frankness and honesty appeared a part of every word 
he uttered. He seemed to be willing to tell all he knew 
on every subject he discussed. A bluff urbanity and 
courtesy he had ready for all. Yet none could be more 
absolutely ignorant of what he judged it best not to know. 
None could more charmingly discourse on some secret 
and important matter and overwhelm with a sense of 
frankness, and yet leave it all unsaid. . . .° 

" Nor must Lady White be forgotten," writes Professor 
Grosvcnor. " A main contribution to all his success was 
that lovely and genial lady who for twenty-five years 
never faltered at his side. It is reported that he once 
said the greatest achievement of his life was winning the 
hand of Miss Kcndzior at Dantzic. The graceful suavity 
and tact, and at times, because of physical ailments, the 
fortitude and even heroism with which Lady White fulfilled 
all the social requirements of her station, contributed in 
large measure to the official success of the Embassy. 
Moreover, foremost in every philanthropic undertaking, 
and ready not only to give, but to go wherever there was 



destitution, sickness, or distress, Lady White made a record 
no less honourable, and perhaps even more permanent, 
than the showier successes of her husband. 

"On the Bosphorus there is a little village inhabited 
by persons rendered destitute by fire, commonly called 
Lady White's Cottages, as built by her initiative, and the 
expenses defrayed very largely by her beneficence," 

Throughout his career Sir William White was a great 
writer and receiver of letters, and it is interesting to 
note that his letters from Ministers of State, Ambassadors 
and other high functionaries are in their own handwriting, 
with the exception only of two letters from Mr. Gladstone, 
in which the opening line and the signature are alone 
in the writer's hand. In the interests of caligraphy, and 
for the discouragement of cacography, it may be added 
that the letters of these exalted personages are almost 
without exception clearly and legibly written. 

To the Duke of Norfolk belongs an impressive scrawl 
which is at least peculiar to His Grace, and which, however 
startling, is quite readable ; and if in a highly interesting 
letter addressed to Sir William White by Lord Russell 
there are signs of feebleness in the penmanship, it must be 
remembered that the writer had already at the time 
entered his eighty-first year. 

In Lord Salisbury's longest letters, even when there 
is evidence of their having been written in haste, there 
are no corrections, no erasures; while their style is so 
plain, so direct, so lucid, that the meaning of a whole 
sentence can be taken in at a glance. 

Lord Iddesleigh's style is less forcible, but equally 
transparent. One of Lord Iddesleigh's letters contains the 
happiest possible exposition (cited from Count Hatzfeldt) 
of the different policies pursued by Russia and by England 
towards Turkey : Russia attacking her from time to time, 
and taking from her a piece of land, but afterwards leaving 

•85-'9i] CORRESPONDENCE 267 

her in repose ; England defending her at every oppor- 
tunity, but worrying her with perpetual advice, and 
destroying her repose. 

Lord Salisbury's and Lord Iddesleigh's letters, apart 
from whatever words of wisdom they may contain, carry 
with them in every case a fine literary flavour ; and as 
much may be said of the one brief letter from Lord 
Rosebery in the collection. 

Lord Granville's letters consist of only a few sentences ; 
Lord Derby's of only a few phrases — sometimes only a 
few words. 

Sir Henry Layard is always serious, sometimes severe, 
frequently in a rage ; what particularly provokes his ire 
being the presumptuousness of upstart Slavonian Govern- 
ments and the folly and feebleness of the Turks in dealing 
with them. 

Sir Henry Elliot, always sensible and fair, indulges now 
and then in a piece of pleasantry ; but it is pleasantry 
of the diplomatic kind, as when he tells Sir William 
White — at that time agent without credentials at the 
capital of unrecognised Roumania — that he hopes soon 
to hear "that his frontiers have been rectified." 

"Sensible" — the epithet I have taken the liberty of 
applying to Sir Henry Elliot — is, by the way, a favourite 
one in the diplomatic vocabulary of praise ; and for a 
diplomatist to call a man "sensible" is to bestow upon 
him eulogy of a high order. Sir Henry Layard, writing 
from Constantinople to Sir William White at Belgrade, 
about M. Christitch, Envoy from Servia, and, above all, 
about M. Bratiano, Envoy from Roumania, describes them 
both as "sensible" men. Sir Henry Elliot in advising 
Sir William White from Vienna to make the acquaintance 
at Bucharest of M. Stourdza, does so on the ground of 
M. Stourdza's being a "sensible" man. 


Sir William White, writing from Bucharest to Sir 
Henry Elliot at Vienna, concerning King Charles of 
Roumania, declares with enthusiasm that His Majesty 
is a most " sensible " man ; and I well remember Lord 
Napier at St. Petersburg speaking of Vice-Consul White 
at Warsaw as a "sensible" man. 

Lord Odo Russell and, above all, Sir Robert Morier 
(both w sensible" men), are in their correspondence with 
Sir William White always on the laugh, though their 
letters are often serious enough in import. But these 
are not, it must be remembered, Service letters. No 
official relations existed at any time between Sir William 
White and Sir Robert Morier; and though Sir William 
White was Consul at Dantzic when Lord Odo Russell 
was Ambassador at Berlin, all Sir William's reports 
on political questions— such as the Attitude of Hungary 
towards Austria, after the war of 1866, Church Affairs 
in South Germany, and so on, were (as appears from 
Lord Hammond's letters on the subject) sent direct 
to the Foreign Office. 

In their stiff and serious moments diplomatists write 
plain English. But diplomatists en robe de chambre, like 
Sir Robert Morier and Lord Odo Russell in their letters 
to Sir William White, adopt a polyglottic style, to which 
Sir William, who, in addition to indispensable French 
and German, had various Slavonic languages alike at 
his finger's ends and at the tip of his tongue, replies 
in a similar jargon. Lord Odo Russell in his wanderings 
from his native tongue confines himself to French, 
German and Italian. But Sir Robert Morier goes back 
now and then into the past, and introduces a phrase 
of Latin or a word of Greek. 

Lord Palmerston, who wrote both French and Italian 
with correctness and ease, confined himself to English 

■85-91] POLYGLOTTISTS 269 

when he was writing English; and he reproved with 
severity secretaries and attaches who in their despatches 
made use of foreign phrases, or, worse still, foreign idioms 
in an English dress. 

Lord Beaconsfield had such a horror of French words 
in English sentences that he describes as "a stroke of 
state" what one might almost be pardoned for calling 
a " coup d*4tat? 

The linguistic revels of Sir Robert Morier are, all the 
same, delightfully fantastic, and his English is vigorous 
indeed when he chooses to confine himself to his native 

I have not yet spoken except in the briefest manner 
of Sir William White's own letters, of which the most 
important are those addressed to Sir Robert Morier on 
Eastern politics. Many of Sir William White's very 
interesting letters to Mr. Cadman Jones begin with a 
few words of salutation in the Polish language, in 
memory, no doubt, of the time they passed together 
as young men at Gora Pulawska. Here is one : 

"/a*. 1, 1878. 

" Neither of us has sufficient leisure to keep up a 
regular correspondence, but the commencement of this 
new year has reminded me that I should so much like 
to hear of old, old friends ; I therefore write to you with 
my best and affectionate wishes for yourself and family 
from me and mine. How sorry I was to have to leave 
England without being able to see any of your children ! 
1 sometimes think of that pious, good soul, their grand- 
mother, and often of mine. What an interest they would 
have taken in the progress of the young generation I 
My two children are doing very well under God's blessing. 
We have a good governess from England, and they have 
improved very much. I trust that I shall be spared 
sufficiently long to start them in life as good Christians, 
and as devoted to our dear country as I am, though 
almost a stranger to it 


M A most critical moment has arrived for this our 
country, and the year 1878 will be for good or for evil 
as far as our European relations are concerned, a remark- 
able one in the annals of Queen Victoria. On the one 
hand, we cannot defend or perpetuate misrule in any 
Christian province. 

" On the other, we must not be parties to spoliation — 
to another partition of Poland. After the descendants of 
Sobieski's countrymen have been so victimised in the 
eighteenth century, the same Holy Alliance is about to 
apply the same mode of treatment to those very Moslems 
whose progress in Europe Sobieski stopped so nobly, 
bravely, vigorously. 

" Is not all this strange ? 

" Alas, the observations of our daily Press, whether Pro- 
Turkish or Pro-Russian, or snobbishly l lukewarm, like 

the , are all to my mind flippant in the extreme. As 

if history did not exist for them, and as if Turkish rule 
could only be replaced by a power so unscrupulous and 
overbearing as that of the Czar I " 

A letter addressed to the same correspondent from 
Bucharest on April 1, 1879, was written at a time when 
the negotiations on the subject of the recognition of 
Roumania as an independent state seemed to be draw- 
ing to a close, and when the time had at last come for 
promoting Mr. White from the Consular to the Diplomatic 

" . . . I thank you likewise for the information you 
give me about the edition of Gibbon. 

"We are getting on, thank God, very well, and our 
two children are flourishing. I continue to have plenty 
of work, but I am likely to be well rewarded for it It 
has been settled in high quarters that my future rank 
here shall be that of an Envoy-Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary ; the same as that of my principal 
colleagues here, but more than I expected. It is a secret 

1 The word " snobbish " is evidently used in the French sense, ss 
signifying affectation of a belief not sincerely entertained. Sham 
Ibsenites, sham Wagnerians are literary and musical snobs. 

'85-91] MR. CADMAN JONES 271 

yet ; but I do not mind telling you confidentially as one 
of my oldest friends and chums, and one who has no 
connection with the Press. I wonder myself at my success 
in life. This future rank is next to that of an Ambassador. 
There are, it is true, four other Consuls who are now 
occupying similar positions ; but each of them got his 
promotion out of Europe — where it is almost unexampled 
that one who is not a scion of nobility or a Court favourite 
should have attained it Excuse all these details, but I 
thought they might interest you and your children." 

A letter from Bucharest, dated April 4, 1885, begin- 
ning with the usual " Kochany bracie moy " [" My dear 
brother"], is in reply to a congratulatory one in regard 
to the K.C.M.G. which Sir William had just received. 

" My best thanks for your congratulations ; none could 
be more welcome. Our friendship is certainly of a very 
old standing, and you are for me a link connecting me 
with my college days and Gora, and all its early and 
affectionate recollections. Indeed, you are the only person 
in the United Kingdom representing to me a living witness 
of those happy days long gone by. Your charming visit 
here, in 1878, was made when I was just feeling my way 
in this new country, where I have been pretty successful, 
as I may say I have been in the profession to which I 
took so late in life. You perhaps know that both my 
parents and Mrs. Neville intended me for the Diplomatic 
or Consular Service before I went to Cambridge. But 
after I had been two years at Trinity it became clear 
that they had no adequate means to support me as an 
attach^ or a vice-consul until I should be entitled to 
sufficient remuneration. This made me give it up. But 
my time was not lost during my long residence in Poland, 
as I acquired a knowledge of Russian ways and doings 
which has proved invaluable to me, and would prove 
still more so were 1 serving under a chief more distrustful 
of the Moskal 1 than our G. O. M. Their object on the 
Afghan frontier is to compel us to become their immediate 
neighbours in Asia, and to hold a frontier so insecure that 
we should be living in constant dread of a breach of the 

1 Polish for "Muscovite." 


peace, because they imagine that by bringing this about 
they may the more easily get to Constantinople, and 
hinder our opposing them by making us permanently 
uncomfortable in India. 

" I have just had a nice letter of congratulation from 
Cambridge, from a tutor at Downing. He sends me a 
kind message from our common friend the master of 
Christ's. I have not met Swainson for nineteen years, 
but hope to do so next time I come over to England 
on leave." 

When Sir William White wrote this last letter he 
was on the point of being sent by the Gladstone Govern- 
ment to Constantinople in order to take charge of the 
Embassy ad interim until the arrival of Sir Edward 
Thornton, to whom the post had been officially assigned. 

In a subsequent letter to the same correspondent, 
dated Therapia, September 12, 1885, Sir William White 
writes as follows : 

" It is many months since I heard from you ; not since 
I got a line after I became a K.C.M.G. and placed a 
'Sir* before my initials. Soon after that, five months' 
ago, the late Government sent me out here to take charge 
of H.M. Embassy — the greatest compliment that could 
have been paid me. My mission is one of which I have 
so / far, I hope, acquitted myself creditably ; so, at least, 
I am told by competent persons. I have made friends 
with the Turk — not by acting on the definition some one 
made of an Ambassador — one lying abroad for his country's 
good — but by being truthful and courteous all round. 
My mission, however, is almost over, or drawing to a 
close, as the real Ambassador, Sir Edward Thornton, is 
actually coming out from St. Petersburg : when I go. 

" I hope to be in England with my children D.V. part 
of the summer 1886. My boy is at school in the North ; 
he spent his holidays here. My wife and daughter are 
with me, and we have enjoyed our summer immensely. 

" Excuse this egotistical letter, but I have written the 
above particulars in the belief that you have not noticed 
in the daily journals the references to your ' stary wierny ' 
[< old and faithful one ']." 


All the time that Sir William White was at Constanti- 
nople in the character of Ambassador ad interim (from 
April, 1885, until November, 1886) his rank was still that 
of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary ; 
his post still Bucharest He had been assured, moreover, 
on the highest authority, that there was no Embassy 
vacant to which he could possibly be appointed. 

Sir Edward Thornton, however, continued not to arrive 
at Constantinople ; and when at last he reached his post 
it was thought best that the work on hand should still 
be done by his temporary substitute, who after a time 
permanently replaced him. 

The pressing matter was then the Bulgaro-Roumelian 
difficulty, and in the words of one of Sir William's most 
intimate and most appreciative friends — Sir Hamilton 
Lang — it was "through the manner in which Lord 
Salisbury's policy was carried out by Sir William White 
that the union of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia was 
accomplished without bloodshed and without a breach in 
the harmonious relations between the European Powers." 

"Sir William White's death," writes the same corre- 
spondent, — Sir Hamilton Lang, — "was a very great loss 
to England and to this part of the East. His foresight 
would probably have prevented the Armenian Massacres. 
He would intuitively have seen and understood what was 
being plotted, and prevented the execution. Men of his 
calibre appear only now and then on the world's stage." 



Abdul Azis, Sultan of Turkey, 

Abdul Hamid II., Sultan of Turkey, 

no, ii2, 128, 205, 242, 245 

Afghanistan, 238 

Agricultural Society at Warsaw, 32 

Albert, Prince, 248 

Aleko Pasha, 198, 200 

Alexander I., Czar of Russia, 224, 
228, 254 

Alexander II., Czar of Russia, his 
treatment of Poland, 25, 29, 
3 1 * 3 2 » 34» 43; allows Russian 
officers to go as volunteers to 
Servia, 84, 96; Turko-Servian 
War, 99, 108; the Dobrudja, 139 ; 
two blots in his life — the Black 
Sea and Bessarabia, 142, 149, 
154; Jomini's gratitude, 146; 
Giers, Nelidoff, and Prince Alex- 
ander, 23 1,232; the true suzerain 
of Bulgaria, 242 

Alexander of Bulgaria, Prince, 
Bismarck's reputed advice, 170; 
Layard on, 198 ; war with Servia, 
219, 220 ; elected Governor of 
Eastern Roumelia, 222; the 
Czar's vindictiveness, 231 ; 
England's moral support, 23$; 
Morier's view of, 237 ; com- 
pelled to abdicate, 241 ; " owed 
his crown to Russia," 242 

Alexinatz, Battle of, 107 

Alliance Israelite, 86, 178 

Ampthill, Lord. See Russell, 
Lord Odo. 

Andrassy, Count, a scheme for 
replacing the Ottoman Empire, 
129; refuses Russia a military 
passage through Roumania, 153, 
163, 164 ; the Jewish Question 
in Roumania, 167 ; the Franco- 
Russian understanding, 197 ; 
Bismarck and, 197, 198 

Anglo-Jewish Association, 89 

Armenia, 202, 249 

Augustus, King of Saxony, $8 

Austria, her defeat in 1859 by 
France and Sardinia, 24 ; Turkey 
and, 129, 193 ; proposed cession 
of Danubian Principalities to, 
133; views on Roumania, 140; 
loses Lombardy, 146; and 
Bosnia, 193, 223 ; the Slavonisa- 
tion of, 209 

Balaceano, Roumanian Diplo- 
matic Agent at Vienna, 147, 153, 
162, 164 

Balkan Confederation, proposals 
for a, 207 

Balkan Peninsula, mutual annexa- 
tion projects in the, 191-201 

Balkan States, 93 ; the New, 207 ; 

Baring, Mr., his report on the 
Bulgarian atrocities, 102, 103 

Barrere, Camille, 20$ 

Bashi Bazouks, 100, 101 




Beaconsfield, Lord, Coningsby, 15; 
the Suez Canal, 76 ; the Bul- 
garian atrocities, 101 ; appoints 
LayardAmbassador to the Porte, 
121 ; Gladstone's hatred of, 129; 
the retrocession of Bessarabia, 
148; at the Berlin Conference, 
196; his Vice-Consuls with- 
drawn from Constantinople, 202; 
" a stroke of state," 269 

Belgrade, 17, 81 

Berg, Count, 49 

Berlin Conference, 18, 13$, 137, 

138. 148. IS°» 154. I9 6 
Berlin, Treaty of, 137, 138, 163, 

175, 222, 249 

Bessarabia and Russia, 19, 139, 

142, 144, 146-151. 153. 154. 158, 
161, 165, 222, 224 

Beulwitz, Mile, de, 75 

Beust, Count, Austro-Hungarian 
Ambassador, 88, 1 16 

Birkbeck, Dr., 44 

Bismarck, Prince, his support to 
England at Berlin Conference, 
18 ; result of his attitude towards 
Russia, 52 ; as a peacemaker, — 
Russia and the Black Sea, 67, 
68; Odo Russell, 69* 215; 
BleichrOder, 71 ; the Jews in 
Servia, 87; the Turko-Servian 
armistice, 108; his Railway Bill, 

139, 161, 169, 173, 175; the 
Bessarabian Question, 148, 153, 
154 ; his megalomania, 154 ; his 
advice to Prince Charles of 
Hohenzollern, 159, 170; his 
hatred of Roumania, 168, 212 ; 
his strong appeals, 174 ; under- 
standing between Andrassy and, 
197, 198 ; on the pretensions of 
the German-Austrian patriots, 
209 ; his speech about Turkey, 

Black Sea, Russia and the, 67, 68, 
142, 251-256 

Blairgowrie, 43 

BleichrOder, Herr von, 70 

Blessington, Earl of, 3 

Bloomfield, Lord, 64 

Boeresco, M., Minister for Foreign 
Affairs of Roumania, 173, 176 

Bomba, 232 

Bosnia, peasantry in, 81 ; insur- 
gents, 82 ; annexed by Austria, 
193; passes under Austria's 
protection, 223 

Bourgoing, Count de, 109 

Bourke, M.P., Mr., Under-Secre- 
tary for Foreign Affairs, 181 

Brackenbury, Colonel Charles, 104 

Bregova incident, the, 219 

Brunnow, Baron, 26, 43, 94 

Buchanan, Sir Andrew, Minister 
at St Petersburg, 87, 1 19 

Bucharest, 17, 20; Whitest, 131- 

Budberg, Baron, 29 

Bukovina, the, 186 

Bulgaria, Russia and, 20; insur- 
rection in, 97; candidates for 
the throne of, 160; war with 
Servia, 2 19-22 1 ; sends delegates 
to London, 225 ; and Roumelia, 

Bulgarian atrocities, 1 5, 99 

Bulgarians, Turks in Eastern Rou- 
melia massacred by, 203 

BQlow, Herr von, 158 

Buol, Count, 145 

Byron, Lord, 226 

Calick, Count, 109 

Cambridge, White at Trinity 

College, 3 
Campbell, Sir Colin, 9 
Canning, George, 262 
Canning, Sir Stratford. See Red- 

cliffe, Lord Stratford de. 
Cantemir, Prince, 132 
"Carmen Sylva," Queen of 

Roumania, 132 



Carnarvon, Lord, 76 
Cartwright, Mr., 73 
Catherine II. of Russia, $8, 224 
Central Asian Question, 238 
Chamberlain, Joseph, 207 
Charles I., King of Roumania, 17, 
20, 143, 146, 1 $o, 159, 165, 167, 
170, 176-178, 180, 259, 268 
Charles of Roumania, Prince, 19, 

86, 143, I44» 196 
Charles XII. of Sweden, 4 
Chaudordy, Count de, French 

Ambassador Extraordinary at 

the Constantinople Conference, 

109, 112 
Chelmsford, Lord, 182 
Christitch, M., Servian Minister, 

82, 128, 129, 192, 267 
Cigri, Island of, 253 
Circassians, their part in the 

Bulgarian atrocities, 100-102 
Clarendon, Lord, 8, 22, 28, 54, 56, 

Clark, W. H., Public Orator, 

Cambridge, 44 
Constantine, Grand-Duke, 30, 34, 

35. 37, 38, 43. 241 

Constantinople, a series of am- 
bassadors at, 21, 202; Confer- 
ence at, 14, 17, 21, 108-114 

Convents, Polish, 61 

Corti, Count, 109 

Couza, Prince, 132 

Crimean War, 8, 24, 132, 141 

Cumberbatch, Mr., 126 

Currie, Lord, 11, 134, 137, 182 

Czartoryski, Prince, 4 

Dantzic, Consulate at, 16 ; White, 
Consul at, 57 ; its history, 57-60 

Danubian Principalities, 131-133 

Dardanelles, passage by Russian 
warships of the, 68, 25 1-256 

DibaUy 154 

Derby, Lord, 14, 19, 86, 88, 108, 
114, 119, 121, 267 

Dicey, Edward, 44 

Dilke, Sir Charles W., 180, 207, 

Djunis, 98 
Dobrudja, the, 139, 144, 146, 150, 

153, 161, 163-165, 195,22a 
Dolgorouky, General, 58 
Dolgorouky, Prince, 241 
Dollinger, Dr., 74 
Dondoukoff-Korsakoff, Prince, 1 1 1, 

Duckworth, Admiral, 255 
Duff, Sir M. E. Grant, 1 1 1 
Dufferin, Lord, 21, 118, 204, 265 
du Vernois, General Verdy, 52, 64 

Eastern Question, 81, 90, 95, 
127, 154. 228, 244 

Eastern Roumelia, Turks mas- 
sacred by Bulgarians in, 203 

Edward VII., King, 61 

Egypt, 205 

Elliot, Sir Henry, on the recog- 
nition of Roumanian Inde- 
pendence, 18, 162-165, 174; 
Ambassador at Constantinople, 
21 ; on the Bulgarian atrocities, 
98-103 ; his article in Nineteenth 
Century on Turkey, 113, 247; 
'* is Buchanan shelved to make 
room for?" 119; too Turkish 
for the taste of the day, 120, 
200; his congratulations to 
White, 135; Russia and Rou- 
mania, 136, 153; Jewish Ques- 
tion in Roumania, 166, 167, 173 ; 
pleasantry of the diplomatic 
kind, 267 ; his letters to White, 
98-103, 135, 136, 162-167, 173 

Elphinstone, Admiral, 255 

Fadeieff, General, 97 
Ferdinand of Bulgaria, Prince, 247 
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond, 14, 

208, 212, 217 
Fonblanque, T. de Grenier da, 



English Consul-General at Bel- 
grade, 124, 214, 215 

Forbes, Archibald, 98 

Fortnightly Review, 77 . 

Fournier, M., 196, 199 

Francis Joseph, Emperor of 
Austria, 213 

Frederick I. of Prussia, 58 

Frederick II. of Prussia, 58 

Frere, Sir Bartle, 120 

Gambetta, 206 

Gardiner, Colonel William, 3 

Gardiner, General William 
Neville-, 2 

Gastrell, Harms, 104 

Gerard, E., The Land Beyond the 
Forest, 188 

Gerstenschweig, General, 37 

Ghika, M., 211 

Ghika, Prince Jon, 136, 147, 149- 
152, 211 

Giers, M. de, 12, 231, 234, 246 

Gladstone, W. E., •■ a chief more 
distrustful of the * Moskal ' than 
our G.O.M.," 7, 271; "an 
eminent leader of Radicals," 14 ; 
his opinion of Bishop Stross- 
mayer, 65 ; Russia and the 
Black Sea, 67 ; the " G.G.'s," 
121, 126; his "bag and bag- 
gage" phrase, 122, 262; ap- 
points Layard to Madrid, 126; 
his hatred of Beaconsfield, 129 ; 
his "Bulgarian atrocities No- 
policy," 23$ ; his letters, 266 

Goethe, Orpheisch, 1 

Goldsmith, Sir Francis, 86 

Gordon, Mr., Envoy at Stuttgart, 

Gortchakofi, General Prince, 25, 

36 ; an interchange of ideas, 43 ; 
Lord Russell and the Polish in- 
surrection, 46, 49; Russia and 
the Black Sea, 67, 68, 154, 251 ; 
the Jews in Servia, 87 ; refuses 

to sign Treaty of Paris, 141; 
Russia and Roumania, 147-1 $2 ; 
his rude messag e s, 148 ; Prince 
Ghika and, 149, 152; his awk- 
ward position, 151 ; wipes out 
one "blot," 154 

Gortchakoff, Prince, " Can I poison 
the Ambassadors ? " 1 1 

Goschen, Viscount, Special Am- 
bassador at Constantinople, 21, 
126, 202, 204 

Gould, Mr., 164 

Granville, Lord, his instructions 
to White at Warsaw, 64 ; Russia 
and the Black Sea, 67, 68; 
BleichrOder, 70; his correspon- 
dence with Count Beust, 88; 
the " G.G.'s," 121 , recalls 
Layard from Constantinople, 
200 ; his letters all brief and 
to the point, 212, 267 ; proposes 
to send White to Rio or Buenos 
Ayres, 216, 217 

Greece, 226, 248 

Greek Church, the Greed Uniati, 

Green, Colonel, 72, 203 
Greppi, Signor, 246 
Greville, Charles, Memoirs, 46 
Grey, Sir George, 43 
Grosvenor, Professor Edward, 264 
Guarracino, Mr., 102 
Guizot, Memoirs, 2 
" Gymnasts," societies in Eastern 

Roumelia, 203 

Hall, W. H., Polish Experiences, 

Hammond, Lord, Permanent 

Under-Secretary, F.O., 62-64, 

Hart, Sir Robert (China), 13 
Hatrfeldt, Count, 243, 266 
Hennessy, Pope, 47 
Herzegovina, the, passes under 

Austria's protection, 223 



Hojos, Count, 164 
Holtzendorf, 76 
Hudson, Mr., 117, 238 
Hungarians in Transylvania, 117 

Iddesleigh, Lord, 242, 266 
Ignatieff, General, 87, 109, no, 

112, 113, 142 
Independent (New York), 264 
Indian Mutiny, 9 
Israelitish Alliance, the, 86, 178 
Italy, liberated by Napoleon III., 


J assy, 85, 158 

Jews, inRoumania, 14, 17, 18, 85- 
90, 156-161, 166-169, i73- , 75» 
177 '• 178; inServia, 84 

Jomini, Baron, Atude Diplo- 
matique sur la Guerre de 
Critne'e, 142, 144, 148, 150-152, 
239, 240 

Jones, Cadman, 2, 3-6, 269 

Jones, V.C., Captain, English 
Consul at Sofia, 241 

Journal de St, Pitersbourg % 251 

Kara Mustapha, Pasha, 93 

Katargi, Kallimaki, 213 

Keudell, Herr von, 260 

Kendzior, Miss, Lady White, q.v. 

King William's College, Isle of 
Man, 3 

Kl6bcr, General, 105 

Kleeberg, Anton von, 188 

Kogolniceano, Wl.(Actes and Docu- 
ments), 142, 143, 145, 150, 152, 

156. 157, I9S 
Komaroff, Colonel, 97 
Koscziusko, 3, 37 

Labouchere, Mr., 118 
Lambert, Count, 37 
Lang, Sir Hamilton, 273 
Lansdowne, Lord, 22, 27 
Laski, M. de, 53 

Layard, Sir A. H., Ambassador at 
Constantinople, 21, 1 21-130; 
on importance of mastery of 
the Turkish language, in; on 
promulgation of Turkish Con- 
stitution, 113; Morier's ques- 
tions about, 119; his visit to 
Belgrade — de Fonblanque, 124; 
Bratiano, 160; on the Hun- 
garian and Roumanians, 187, 
210 ; his letters to White, 127- 
129, 191-201, 211; recalled 
from Constantinople, 200; on 
Roumania's relations with Tur- 
key, 210, 211; predicts union 
of the two Bulgarias, 230; a 
lover of pictures, etc., 260; in 
his letters "always serious, 
sometimes severe, frequently in 
a rage, 1 ' 267 

Lederer, Baron von, 50 

Lee, William, 137 

Leyden, Countess, 73 

Lhuys, M. Drouyn de, 47 

Liddon, Canon, 104 

Loftus, Lord Augustus, 15, 28-30, 
54, 84, 87, 96 

Longworth, Mr., 72 

Lorraine, Duke of, 51 

Louis XIV., 154 

Lttders, General, 34, 37 

Lyons, Admiral, 255 

Lyons, Lord, 172 

Macaulay, Lord, 45 
MacColl, Rev. Malcolm, 104 
Macmillaris Magazine, 73, 260 
Malet, Lady Ermyntrude, 257 
Malet, Sir Edward, 73, 257, 258 
Malmesbury, Lord, 27 
Mansfield, General Sir William 

Rose, 6, 8, 17, 30, 56, 136 
Martin, Rudolf, 188 
Mayne, Sir Richard, 43 
Memling, Hans, his " Last Judg- 
ment," 57 



Metternich, Prince, 232 

Michael, Grand-Duke, 35 

Michell, Thomas, 203 

Mickiewicz, 211 

Midhat Pasha, 113 

Mikhailowitch, Alexis, 224 

Milan of Servia, Prince, 83, 86, 
106, 107, 160, 219 

Milosch of Servia, Prince, 92 

Moldavia and Wallachia — Moldo- 
Wallachia. See Roumania. 

Moltke, 105 

Monde IUustri, L$ % 8$ 

Montefiore, Sir M. t 175 

Montenegro, 82 

Monteverde, Colonel, 97 

Morier, Sir Robert 6., presses 
White to accept Pekin Legation, 
1 1 ; England and Russia to be- 
friend Bulgaria, 20; consulted 
by White about Belgrade Con- 
sulate, 69; Prussia and the 
Vatican, 73, 260; "grapho- 
phoby," 74, 167 ; Jews in Rou- 
mania, 90; the "G.G.'s," 121; 
union of the two Bulgaria*, 230 ; 
his line of policy for England 
and Russia, 239, 240; his poly- 
glottic style, 268 ; his linguistic 
revels, 269 ; his letters to White, 
"-13. 72-78, 1 15-118, 181-183, 
214, 330, 234, 245 

Morley, John, 77 

Mountjoy, Viscount, 3 

Moussa Bey, 250 

14 Mussulmans and non- Mussul- 
mans," 90 

Napier, Lord, Ambassador at St 
Petersburg, 1 5 ; the Polish in- 
surrection of 1863, ibid. ; Russia 
and Poland, 29, 33, 42, 61, 241 ; 
his despatch on recruitment in 
Poland, 40; Ambassador at 
Berlin, 54; recommends White 
for Dantzic, $4, 257 ; Ttuth on, 

118; the epithet "sensible," 

Napoleon I., $7 
Napoleon III., 39, 47, 133 
Nelidoff, M., 96, 231, 234, 240, 246 
Nesselrode, Count, 157, 261 
Neville-Gardiner, General William, 

Neville, Mrs., 3, 4, 7, 271 
Nicholas, Emperor, establishes 

Consulates in Poland, 7, 49; 

Poles exiled by, 25, 50; his 

treatment of Poland, 31, $0; 

proposed understanding with 

England about Turkey, 239, 240 
Nicholas, Grand-Duke, 143, 144 
Nicholas of Montenegro, Prince, 

Nineteenth Century, 113, 247 

Nitika of Montenegro, Prince, 160, 

Noailles, Marquis de, 205 
Norfolk, Duke of, 266 
Novikoff, M., 151 

Oliphant, Laurence, 44 
Omladina, or Youth Society, 

Servia, 92 
Ottoman Constitution, promulga- 
tion of, 112 

Palmerston, Lord, 44, 126; on 
Russia's despatch of arms to 
Servia, 94 ; " Russia our enemy 
— Turkey our ally," 249; his 
dislike of the trained official, 
263; no foreign phrases, or 
foreign idioms in an English 
dress, 269 
Panslavism, 16, 236 
Paris, Treaty of, 67, 68, 141 
Paulucci, Marquis, $3 
Pekin, Legation at, 1 1 
Pendjeh incident, the, 238 
Peter the Great, 58, 132, 223, 225, 




Petre, Lord, 182 
Philippopolis, massacre at, 203 
Plevna, Battle of, 143, 144 
Plow, Consul at Dantzic, 57 
Poland, Partition of, 2, 3 ; insur- 
rection of, 1863, 15, 33-53; 
under Alexander II., 25, 29, 31 ; 
under Nicholas, 31 ; and Russia, 
25. 29, 31, 33-40, 45-53 ; scheme 
for dismemberment (1716), 58 
Poole, Stanley Lane-, Life of Lord 

Stratford de Redcliffe % 122, 263 
Potocki, Count Alfred, 46 
Pracak, a Czech, 209 
Prussia and the Vatican, 73 
Pulawy (Poland), White's birth- 
place, 2 
Punjab Times, 248 

Railway Dill, Bismarck's, 139, 
161, 169, 173, 175 

Redcliffe, Lord Stratford de, 2, 122, 
215, 248, 262, 264 

Reinkens, Bishop, 65 

Ring, Mr. de, 205 

Rio Janeiro, Legation offered to 
White, 217 

Rodolph, Arch-Duke, Crown 
Prince of Austria, 212 

Roggenbach, 183 

Rosebery, Lord, 267 

Roumania, " Carmen Sylva," 
Queen of, 132 

Roumania, Independence of, 17, 
18, 20, 174-176 ; Jews in, 85-90, 
1 56-161, 166-169; Moldo-Wal- 
lachia, 131-1331 138 ; Treaty of 
Commerce, 134, 179, 186; 
plucky attitude of, 141- 155; 
their national origin "lost in 
the night of ages," 157 ; in 1879, 
162- 17 1 ; the Roumanian Ques- 
tion in Transylvania, 184-190; 
the Franco-Russian understand- 
ing! 199; threatened Russian 
occupation, 212 

Roumelia and Bulgaria, 228-243 

Rubinstein, 260 

Russell, Earl, 14, 22, 27, 28, 126, 
266; the Polish Question, 15, 
41, 42, 45-48 ; his deplorable 
diplomatic comedy, 47 ; and 
White, 54, 55 ; appoints White 
to Dantzic, 57, 257 

Russell, Lord Odo(LordAmpthill), 
67, 69, 70,73, 117, 135, 138, 154, 
214-216, 246, 257, 268 

Russia and Roumania, 17, 141 ; 
the Bessarabian Question, 19, 
139, 142, 144, 146-151, 153, 154. 
158, 161, 165, 222, 224; and 
Poland, 25, 29, 31, 33-40, 45- 
53; and the Treaty of Paris, 
67, 68; the Black Sea, 67, 68, 
142, 251-256; Servia and, 83, 
94-97 ; threat to occupy Rou- 
mania, 212; the Dardanelles, 

Russian World % 97 

Rustem Pasha, 247 

Sabouroff, M., 26 

Sacken, Baron Osten, 53 

Safvet, Pasha, 112 

Salisbury, Lord, presses Pekin 
Legation on White, 10 ; appoints 
White to Bucharest, etc, I4t 
134, 140, 258; at the Con- 
stantinople Conference, 14, 17, 
109, 115, 121; recognition of 
Roumanian Independence, 18, 
164; his political tour, 109; his 
understanding with Ignatieff, 
1 10 ; promulgation of the Otto- 
man Constitution, 112; Morier, 
117; the Jewish Question, 157, 
166, 168, 169, 173, 175, 195; 
White on Roumania, 172 ; 
thanks White for Roumanian 
Treaty of Commerce, 179; the 
Roumanians in Transylvania, 
185 ; plain words to Russia, 194 ; 




at the Berlin Conference, 196 ; 
presses Armenian reforms on 
Turkey, 202 ; " Sclavonic," 211 ; 
Hungary and Roumania, 212; 
union of the two Bulgarias, 
228, 330 ; White's " hearty and 
vigorous assistance," 229; Morier 
on his great prudence, 235 ; his 
advice to the Bulgarian dele- 
gates, 244; White's death, 257 ; 
style of his letters, 266 
San Stefano, Treaty of, 127, 134, 

13S, 144, 148, 149. IS*. 222 
Sardinia, 24 

Schteswig-Holstein Question, 52 
Schouvaloff, Count, 108, 109 
Schumla, 106 
Schuyler, Eugene, History of PcUr 

the Great, 90, 223 
Sehastiani, Marshal, 24 
Seraphim, 226 
Servia, 82 ; and Russia, 83 ; Jews 

in, 84; in 1876— Bulgarian 

atrocities, 94-120; and Turkey, 

107 ; war with Bulgaria, 219-221 
Servo-Turkish War, 83, 107 
Simmons, Field-Marshal Sir John 

Lintorn, 6, 22, 30, 137 
Simon, Sir John, 85 
Slavonisation of Austria, 209 
Slivnitza, Battle of, 220 
Sobieski, 51, 270 
Speaker, 14 
Stanislas, Augustus, King of 

Poland, 2 
Stanton, Sir Edward, 15, 31, 40, 50 
Stephanie, Princess (Austria), 213 
Stoiloff, M., 243 
Stourdza, Demetri, 136, 173, 204, 

Strangford, Lady, Eastern Shores 

of the Adriatic, in, 226 
Strangford, Lord, 1 1 1, 1 59, 226 
Stratheden and Campbell, Lord, 44 
Strossmayer, Bishop, 65, 105 
Stuart, Baron, Russian Diplomatic 

Agent at Bucharest, 143, 150, 

Suez Canal, 76 

Suleiman Bey, 194 

Suleiman Pasha, 128 

Taaffe, Count, 209 

Talleyrand, 261 

Tchernaieff, General, 91, 94-98, 

Temps, Le % 104 
Tenterden, Lord, 66, 100 
The Bratianos, J. and D., 19, 159, 

160, 192, 194-196. 198. 212, 267 

Thornton, Sir Edward, 10, 21, 118, 
217, 228, 272 

Tolstoy, 225 

Tornielli, 174 

Transylvania, Roumanian Ques- 
tion in, 184-190 

Truth, 118 

Turkey, the Bulgarian atrocities, 
99 et. seg.; and Servia, 107; 

. promulgation of Constitution, 
112; and Roumania, 13 1 ; Austria 
And, 193; proposed national 
postal system, 218 ; passage of 
Straits by Russian warships, 

Turko-Servian War, 83, 107 

Turks, massacred by Bulgarians 
in Eastern Roumelia, 203 

Ukraintseff, 255 
Uniate Bishops, the, 65 

Valb£zen, M. de, 50 

Varnac, M., Roumanian Agent at 

Berlin, 153 
Vatican and Prussia, 73 
Victoria, Queen, 257 
Vienna, Congress, 31, 59; Treaty 


Waddington, M., 148, 168 
Wade (China), 13 



Wagner, Richard, 260 

Walker, English police official, 

Warsaw, 3 ; British Consulate at, 

6-9 ; White, Vice-Consul at, 25- 

44; character of the consular 

body, 49 

Wellesley, Colonel, military at- 
tache at St. Petersburg, 104 

Werther, Baron, 109 

Westmorland, Lord, 215 

Wetherell, Mr., 74 

Whicher, English police official, 

White, Governor of Trinidad 

(father), 2 

White, Lady, 23, 265 

White, Mrs. (mother), 2 

White, Sir William A., birth and 
parentage, 2 ; at Cambridge and 
in Poland, 3 ; deaths of his 
mother and grandmother, 4 ; at 
the Warsaw Consulate, 7, 9, 
24-44; M oner's letters to, 11- 

13. 72-78, 115-118, 181 -183, 
214, 230, 234, 245; his habits 
and occupations, 15, 260, 261 ; 
his punctuality, 16; his varied 
duties, 17 ; making friends, 27 ; 
Lord Augustus Loftus, 29; 
Lord Napier's letters to, 33, 61 ; 
his consular despatches, 41 ; 
two English police officials, 43 ; 
visits from friends, 44 ; Lord 
Russell, 45, 55; Count Berg's 
ball, 49; from Warsaw to 
Dantzic, 54-80; the Slavonic 
world in a microcosm, 60 ; a 
dreary prospect, ibid.\ the Prince 
of Wales's visit, 61 ; his report 
on the Slav countries, 62; on 
Austrian affairs, 63 ; occupied 
with military matters, 64 ; visits 
Hungary, 65 ; Odo Russell, 67 ; 
laying siege to Belgrade, 69 ; in 
the right quarters, 75 ; writes 

for the F.O. alone, 79; at 
Belgrade, 81-93; the Servo- 
Turkish War, 83; Roumano- 
Jewish Question, 84, 157, 166, 
168 ; Anglo- Jewish Associa- 
tion, 89; projects for solu- 
tion of Eastern Question, 90 ; 
his interest in Servia, 93; 
TchernaiefTs volunteers, 95 ; 
Elliot's letters to, 98-103, 135, 
136, 162-167, 173; Bulgarian 
massacres, 99-103; Turkey's 
peace terms, 107 ; adlatus to 
Salisbury at Constantinople 
Conference, 109, 1 10; the Strang- 
fords, in ; Layard's first visit 
to Servia, 124; Layard's letters 
to, 127-129, 191-201, 211; at 
Bucharest, 131-140; Roumanian 
Commercial Treaty, 134, 179, 
186; Currie's congratulations, 
135 ; the customs duties, 136; 
the Dobrudja, 137, 163; still 
without credentials, 164, 172; 
recognition of Roumanian In- 
dependence, 174, 176; Bis- 
marck's Railway Bill, 175 ; pre- 
sents his letters of credence to 
Prince Charles I., 178; the 
Roumanian Question, 184; the 
Franco-Russian understanding, 
197; strained relations between 
Bulgaria and Roumania, 203 ; 
a chance of Egypt, 205 ; the 
Slavonisation of Austria, 209; 
Austrian Crown Prince visits 
Bucharest, 213; Odo Russell's 
death, 214; Rio Legation, 217; 
proposed national postal system 
in Turkey, 218; Ambassador 
ad interim to the Porte, 222, 
229; a Balkan Confederation 
under Austria, 227 ; Salisbury's 
thanks, 229 ; de Giers : Neli- 
doff, 231 ; Russian policy in 
Central Asia, 238; not preju- 

284 INI 

diced ■gainst the Russian*, 240 ; 
Lord Iddealeigh'i letters, 343 ; 
time 00 the Bulgarian side, 244 ; 
Bismarck's speech on Turkey, 
347; events in Armenia, 249; 
the passage of the Straits, 251 ; 
his death, 256 ; and burial, 257 ; 
hla methods of diplomacy, 
261; his politics, ifia; his dislike 
for the trained official, 263 ; 
an appreciation by Professor 
Grosvenor, 264 ; a great writer 
and receiver of letters, 366 ; his 

letters to Mr. Cadroan Jones, 

369-273 ; Sir Hamilton Lang's 

tribute, 373 
Wielopolski, Marquis, 33, 35, 38- 

William II., Emperor, 356 
Wolff, Sir Drummond, 21, 329 
Worms, Baron de, 17; 
Wnk, 93 

Zahoysju, Cotnrr Ammsw, 33 
Zamoyski, Count Ladial**, 48 
Zichy, Count, 109, 196 

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